This story appeared in the latest print edition of City Times.
San Diego Community College District will require students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for in-person learning for the fall semester, according to a statement shared on social media.
“In consideration of the decisions among higher education institutions in San Diego County, the concerns and preferences stated by employees and students, and the rate of COVID-19 infections in our communities, the San Diego Community College District will require employees and students to be vaccinated in order to work, take classes, and receive services in-person during the fall 2021 semester,” said SDCCD in a statement posted on its website and shared on Twitter.
Chancellor @carrollsdccd’s latest coronavirus update addresses fall planning, vaccination surveys, and the return to on-site activities. https://t.co/GrhPG2YtLh
— SD Community College District (@SDCCD) May 19, 2021
The district plans to have “many more” classes in person in the fall and to reopen fully by the spring semester.
The decision was made after looking thoroughly at data and input from students, employees and district stakeholders, the statement said.
It also comes almost a month after the UC and Cal State systems announced they would require vaccination for COVID-19.
Historically, community colleges have not mandated vaccinations, according to Dotti Cordell, Director of Student Health Services at San Diego City College, in an interview with City Times Media earlier this month.
Still, she said the decision would not be easy.
I’m sure they are weighing the pros and cons and probably trying to evaluate (what) is in our students’ best interest and in the community’s best interest,” Cordell said. “Their number one concern is the safety of staff, students and faculty, and has been all along, especially since the pandemic started.”
The vaccination requirement will be limited by medical or religious exemptions, according to the statement.
City Times wants to hear from you! We are looking for our community — fellow students, faculty, staff and alumni — to share perspectives on the news of vaccination mandates for the fall. You can send your thoughts in writing by email or share them on social media, including @sdcitytimes and #cityspeaks. You can also leave us a voice recording.
The District’s decision is contingent on the Federal Drug Administration fully authorizing COVID-19 vaccines, and it is anticipated that one or more vaccines will be authorized by fall 2021.
An intern at San Diego City College, whose name is being withheld due to concerns of the possible impact on their employment, shared their concerns with City Times Media.
“I will say I’m fully vaccinated and that was my choice before it was mandatory,” they wrote in a direct message on Instagram. “I am also very aware that the situation is a double edge sword. My child also received the vaccine & trust me I’m worried for what that will mean in the future for him. Did I make the right choice? We won’t know definitely until 5-10 years from now.”