To maintain health and safety precautions on campus, Long Beach State has enforced COVID-19 vaccinations for those wishing to attend in-person classes and events for the foreseeable future.
The vaccination self-certification requires proof of vaccination in the form of a picture or digital file of a COVID-19 vaccination card, uploaded online to the patient’s CSULB health portfolio.
According to CSULB, those who do not comply with campus policy will face consequences. For example, “students not in compliance with campus policy will be subject to a hold being placed on their record,” Jeff Cook, associate vice president of strategic communications, said.
Although CSULB is enforcing these health policies for in-person attendance, students or employees may request a medical or religious exemption.
The Daily Forty-Niner received little to no responses regarding the religious exemption after reaching out to several religious organizations and students on campus.
One religious organization on campus responded, “thank you for thinking of us, but we would not like to make a comment due to opposing opinions on this topic.”
They also stated they would like anonymity “to protect their privacy on this sensitive topic”
Students and employees eligible for medical or religious exemption must adhere to getting free, weekly COVID-19 tests on-campus, according to the CSULB COVID-19 information website.
“While I respect everyone’s freedom to practice the religion of their choosing, a person’s freedom to practice religion isn’t a free pass to place others in harm’s way,” Laura Hardin, a senior biology major, said.“Exemptions to vaccines should be reserved for those with legitimate medical conditions. By allowing religious exemptions the CSU system has paved the way for this pandemic to persist.”
Since receiving its first shipment of Pfizer vaccines in February, Long Beach State launched its university vaccination program, distributing over 13,140 vaccines amongst students, faculty, and staff members, school health officials said.
“This program started in February as a drive-thru clinic and has continued to operate at the Student Health Center,” Student Health Services Health Educator Holly Boettner said.
At this time, Student Health Services continues to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through walk-ins on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., located at the back entrance of their building via Lot G3, according to the Vaccine Clinic.
In addition, CSULB works alongside the Long Beach Health Department twice a week to provide “COVID-19 testing and three vaccines, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna,” Boettner said.
Boettner said that the three vaccines will be distributed near the University Bookstore on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., with no appointment necessary.
This vaccine will also “be available for Emergency Use Authorization” for those who are 12 to 15 years old and “for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals,” according to the FDA.
“Requiring the vaccine definitely makes me feel safe and at ease,” Juan Carlos Mendoza, a third-year journalism major, said. “I’m honestly so happy to be back on campus.”
Ashley Ramos contributed to this article.