Student and staff vaccination mandate is approved for L.A. community colleges

A student walks in front of Los Angeles City College.
The Los Angeles Community College District will require COVID-19 vaccinations for on-campus students and all staff members.
(Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees voted Wednesday night to mandate vaccinations for all staff members — even those working remotely — and students attending in-person classes or using campus facilities at the district’s nine colleges.

The vote to revise the policy — which previously called for either a COVID-19 vaccination or regular coronavirus testing — is linked to the federal government’s official approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people 16 and older. The district had previously said that it would not require vaccinations before such approval.

Medical and religious exemptions will be allowed. Those exempted will be required to get tested at least once a week.


The new policy passed 7 to 1 with trustee Ernest Moreno voting no.

Campus visitors, including contracted employees, will be required to go through a health screening process either online or upon arrival. Those who have been cleared will receive a QR code that they would need to enter communal spaces on campus, Nish said.

The district will give students and employees until mid-October — probably Oct. 18 — to get vaccinated or approved for exemption and register their status. It was not entirely clear how many students would be affected as roughly 25% to 30% of classes are in person.

“Nothing’s more effective [at] keeping people safe than the vaccine,” trustee Steven Veres said.

The University of California and the California State University systems have mandated vaccinations for students and faculty members, as have several private colleges throughout the state.