Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required to access the Fullerton College campus starting Nov. 1.
This decision was made by the North Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees, who voted in favor of a vaccine mandate on Aug. 24.
“The Board of Trustees weighed the overall public health good, against the possible disruptions to the fall semester and decided that requiring vaccines was in the best interest of the students and staff,” NOCCCD’s District Director, Public and Governmental Affairs, Kai Stearns said in an email.
Students opting to not receive the vaccine will not have to drop their on-campus courses for the Fall 2021 semester.
Since the vaccine mandate came after the semester started the District is giving students and staff the ability to have free weekly COVID-19 tests done on campus until the semester ends.
“By law, students and staff have the option of applying for a medical or religious exemption from the vaccine mandate. This process will be managed by Human Resources for staff and Student Services for students,” Stearns continued.
Exemptions will be made for those who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons. Those with approved exemptions will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and are required to show proof of negative COVID-19 test results.
The Board’s decision for the vaccine mandate was partially due to updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stating the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had proven to be over 90% effective, even against the Delta variant.
In addition to the high efficacy rate, the Pfizer vaccine was also approved by the Federal Drug Administration.
“Fullerton College and Cypress College have been holding free vaccine clinics and free COVID-19 testing over the past few months and will continue to do so throughout the fall semester,” Stearns concluded.
The vaccine clinics are provided in part, to support staff and students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to help campuses meet the Nov. 1 deadline.
Professors and colleges are encouraged and willing to work with their students on all COVID-19 related issues, including students experiencing vaccine side effects. However, there will be no changes in Fullerton College’s attendance policy.
Students that are concerned with returning back to campus or opting to not get vaccinated will have online courses available to them. NOCCCD currently offers approximately 75% of its courses online.
The decision on the vaccine mandate was made in accordance with Board Policy 2200 which falls under Board Duties and Responsibilities.
The funding costs are covered by federal and state emergency funds as well as general funds.
For additional information please visit Fullerton College’s website.
EDIT: This article was edited for clarification.