DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) – Beginning Nov. 19, all students and staff at University of California schools will need to be vaccinated against not only COVID-19 but also the flu.
The move comes after university leaders signed an executive order mandating both vaccines to keep everyone on campus and in the community healthy as they head into the colder months.
“We want our campus community as safe as possible, especially this year with COVID thrown into the mix,” said UC Davis Medical Director Cindy Schorzman.
Schorzman said the vaccine is a safe and effective defense against influenza, as well as the key to keeping everyone safe on campus and beyond.
“Sometimes the flu just goes poorly, and even young, healthy, strong people with no underlying health conditions can get really sick with the flu,” Schorzman said. “The other reason is we want to help keep our community healthy. So, the lower the case rate of influenza, the lower the case rate of flu on campus, the less likely we’re going to get other people sick.”
To make it convenient, UC Davis is offering flu vaccines on campus. Students can visit the recreation center starting Thursday to get one for free.
Many UC Davis students who spoke to FOX40 said they’re in favor of the university’s decision.
“It’s for the well-being of everyone,” said sophomore Michelle Guerrero.
“I think it’s a good idea for everyone to get their flu shots, just with COVID and the flu happening simultaneously,” said sophomore Neyra Jimenez. “I feel like it will be good. I personally haven’t gotten my flu shot yet but if they’re mandating it, then I would.”
Others, like sophomore Aiden Bassi, hadn’t planned on getting the flu shot, but will now.
“I’ll probably get it then if it’s mandated since I’ll probably want to keep going here,” Bassi told FOX40.
Not everyone is on board, however.
“Are we just going to keep adding more vaccines on top of another? We have all these booster shots that we have to take to go into certain schools but at the end of the day — as bad as it sounds — it’s your own personal health and you decide how you want to deal with it,” said sophomore Jeremiah Carrillo. “If they make it mandatory, then yeah, I’m going to find a way to opt out.”
Unlike the COVID-19 vaccine, there is a way to opt out of the flu shot – by filing a written statement with the university. Those who choose to opt out will be required to wear a face mask on campus throughout the end of flu season.