Plans Being Developed for COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Dear CSN Family,

As you have likely heard, Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Dr. Melody Rose has announced intentions to develop a plan that would require COVID-19 vaccinations for students who enroll in the state’s public colleges and universities, including CSN.

I want you to know that I support the chancellor’s intention to mandate vaccines for all CSN students. Such a mandate would be in line with best practices currently being developed and implemented at colleges and universities across the country, including within the California State University System, the University of California System, Oregon State University, the University of Washington, Washington State University and dozens of others. Our top priority must always be the safety of the people who come to our campuses. You are aware that the state’s colleges and universities already require, in accordance with current law, that students be vaccinated against certain diseases, such as measles, mumps and rubella. A COVID-19 vaccine requirement would simply add to that list, and it would include exemptions on religious and medical grounds.

The COVID-19 vaccines have proven safe and effective, and they are free and easily accessible. The Southern Nevada Health District has information on vaccine sites throughout the community. CSN and NSHE have been enthusiastic partners, administering more than 150,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines at the CSN Henderson, CSN North Las Vegas and the UNLV sites. Should new requirements go into effect, we will continue to work with the Southern Nevada Health District to maximize availability of vaccinations, including operating “popup” vaccination sites on all our campuses for those who need it. 

To be clear: A mandatory vaccination plan would require several levels of approval before being implemented. First, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would have to fully approve the COVID-19 vaccinations. Next, both the Nevada State Board of Health and the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents would have to approve the plan.

Any plan presented to the Board of Regents would be done in a public meeting subject to the state’s Open Meeting Law — meaning there would be ample opportunity for public input and comment.

Please know that this is the beginning of a process, not the end. As the system’s plans are further developed, I will make sure the CSN Family is kept informed.

Thank you.

Federico Zaragoza
College of Southern Nevada

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