University High School requiring students to get COVID-19 vaccine

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One Valley high school is requiring its students to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

University High School made the announcement last week, saying students will have to be vaccinated for COVID-19 when the vaccines receive full FDA approval. They tell us the decision is out of their hands.

University High School, located on the campus of Fresno State, sent an email to parents and students explaining that all students will need to be vaccinated

"It's not our decision or a school board decision," explained Superintendent Jeffie Hickman. "It's because our students are on the Fresno State campus and they're considered Fresno State students."

The California State University system recently announced that all students will need to get the shot, but the timing of that requirement depends on the FDA.

"When full use authorization is give for the vaccines, then students will be required to be vaccinated," added Hickman. "That could be several months to a year."

University High School senior Alexander Vang says he was glad to hear the news.

"I thought wow, we're all going to be vaccinated this fall, that's going to be great," said Vang. "It's UHS showing that we want to come back to a sense of normalcy, but we can't really do that until we're all safe and vaccination is a big step in that direction."

Fellow classmate Lena Roberts shared the sentiments, but says she worries for students that may not be able to get the shot.

"I was happy about it, but there's sort of a mixed reaction because on one hand, it's great for safety on campus," said Roberts, "but then I got concerned about friends of mine who may not be able to get the vaccine because of their parents."

University High School says they realize some families may switch schools based on the decision.

"I think that some may choose that," said Hickman. "We don't want them to do that. We love our students and parents, but we understand that they may choose to do that."

Everyone we spoke with agreed they're eager to be back on campus.

"I'm just excited to have that school community back again because it's a big part of every students lives," said Vang.

Both the California State Universities and the University of California systems are requiring all faculty, staff and students accessing campus facilities to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

As for University High School, they'll be back on campus for the fall semester starting August 18.
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