SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Public universities and community colleges statewide have started mandating coronavirus vaccines for staff and students.
Students and staff have only two options: notify administration that they have been vaccinated or not show up.
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A letter was sent this week to more than four thousand students in the state of Sacramento who have not self-certified, which means that a student must declare that they have been vaccinated or that they are entitled to a medical or religious exemption. Otherwise, they won’t be allowed on campus at all this fall.
“I don’t think this is something that should be required,” said George Avila, Sac State freshman.
Avila is not vaccinated and does not plan to be, but he has requested a religious exemption, which would allow him to go to campus if he takes a COVID test every two weeks.
“I am not the biggest fan of this vaccine,” he said.
He doesn’t think it’s fair to students and staff who have no other options. But others say the mandate is the best for everyone.
“It protects everyone,” said Corey, another student.
“I got my vaccine really early and I’m really okay with it,” said another student named Bella.
At Los Rios Community College, Ryan Nix, a health services assistant, and Christopher Carreon, a campus patrol officer, shared emails from the human resources department with all the faculty.
The college rector confirms that any employee or student who fails to provide proof of immunization status by October 1 could be suspended or fired.
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“We are constantly asked about our immunization status by our supervisors,” Carreon said.
“It should be a matter of choice and freedom of health,” Nix said.
The college requires proof of photo vaccination for students and staff, which legal experts say is legal for private companies and government agencies.
This is becoming the “new normal” for universities, public buildings, and businesses large and small across the state.
California’s public university systems (UC and CSU schools) already require that students and staff be immunized.
But these employees are calling it an abuse of power and are working with lawyers, planning to file a class action lawsuit.
“I don’t want to lose my job as much as the next person,” Nix said.
In an email exchange, the district said the board has implemented the requirement in the interest of public health.
The chairman of the board said it was time to take bold and courageous action in the midst of a public health crisis.
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Some students and staff are planning a protest in Los Rios on September 30.