Beginning today, students, faculty and staff who are living, working or learning at any of the University of California’s nine campuses will have to get a flu shot. That’s according to a court ruling issued November 5.
The UC’s flu shot mandate was issued to help California’s healthcare system from being overburdened during a “twindemic” of flu and COVID-19 this fall. But some UC employees and students felt the requirement was an overreach and filed a motion for a preliminary injunction this summer to stop it.
The plaintiff’s attorney, Richard Jaffe, questioned whether a flu vaccine that’s not directly related to the pandemic could be lawfully mandated. He also said the order put those at the UC under more stringent rules than California health care workers, who can opt out of a flu shot if they wear a mask.
But Alameda County Superior Court Judge, Richard Seabolt denied the motion, saying the evidence on the other side showed the mandate was rational … and constitutional. He said the mandate included some exemptions and noted that at least 20 other universities around the country have issued similar directives.
The mandate officially went into effect November 1, but the UC had been barred from taking action against those who were non-compliant until after the hearing.
Now, any campus members who haven’t had a flu shot will be denied access to all UC premises starting November 16.