Students and staff participating in in-person classes for the spring semester at San Joaquin Delta College must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

The college announced the vaccine mandate in a news release Friday saying students must be fully vaccinated in order to register for classes in the spring.

In a statement, Delta College superintendent/President Dr. Omid Pourzanjani said, “With COVID-19 cases on the rise and highly contagious variants continuing to emerge, it was clear that Delta College needed to take action to protect students and employees. Public health experts agree that vaccination is critical to slowing the pandemic. We believe our plan is a fair path forward for everyone.”

Both students and staff will have an opportunity to request religious or medical exemptions from taking the vaccination. Those with approved exemptions will be required to submit COVID-19 test results twice a week.

The college said students should submit proof of vaccination or request for exemption by Oct. 15 as priority registration for the spring semester begins Oct. 18.

Students who submit vaccine verification later will still be able to register but can face delays signing up for classes, depending on assigned registration dates.

In a statement, Board President Dr. Charles Jennings said the Board of Trustees approved the vaccine mandate saying it was “simply the right thing to do.”

“Vaccination will help protect students and employees alike, and will help the College as a whole continue with its fundamental mission of providing a quality education for our community members. The sooner we all receive the vaccine, the sooner we can return to a sense of normalcy,” Jennings said.

The mandate does not apply to students taking online courses or students in the current fall semester.

Vaccinations clinics with the Pfizer vaccine are held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday at the Delta College Health Center in the campus’ Locke Center.

For more details on the new vaccination requirements, visit deltacollege.edu/vaccine.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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