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The University of California, Berkeley campus. Photo: Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Several state university systems and public universities have announced in the past week that they will require students returning to campuses in the fall to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: The expansion into state and public school systems will significantly boost the number of institutions requiring coronavirus vaccines.

For the record: Some private universities, like Brown University and Cornell University, have announced similar requirements in the past few weeks.

  • Several other institutions and school systems have since followed suit, including:

In California: Both of California's state school systems — the University of California and the California State University systems — will be requiring students returning to campus to be vaccinated, AP notes.

  • These are two of the nation's largest university systems and together total 33 campuses.

In New York: Schools include Barnard College, Columbia University, Fordham University, Syracuse University and the University of Rochester, according to University Business.

In Massachusetts: Nine schools in Massachusetts' State University will require returning students to be vaccinated as of last Friday, CBS Boston reports.

  • They join the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which has also announced a vaccine requirement for fall.
  • The state's community colleges, however, have said they won't be mandating vaccines, citing educational barrier concerns.

In Maryland: The public University of Maryland system will be requiring students returning to its 11 campuses to be vaccinated in the fall, university officials announced Friday, per the Washington Post.

In New Jersey: Rutgers University, which has several campus locations across the state, announced in March that it would be requiring students to get vaccinated.

What to watch: Other schools, such as Harvard, are considering a similar mandate and more announcements will likely follow in the coming weeks, WashPost notes.

Go deeper: List of universities requiring vaccines grows and so does pushback

Go deeper

Biden and DeSantis snipe over Florida's COVID response

President Biden and Gov. Ron DeSantis talk about the collapse of the condo building in Surfside, during a briefing in early July. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

During a week when Florida has seen COVID cases and hospitalizations break records, Gov. Ron DeSantis blamed the spike on a "seasonal pattern" and "media hysteria."

  • His latest target: President Biden not securing the border with Mexico.

State of play: At a press conference in Panama City yesterday, DeSantis claimed that Biden is "facilitating" the virus by allowing "hundreds of thousands of people pouring across [the U.S.-Mexico border] every month."

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Aug 5, 2021 - Health

Nursing homes' vaccine challenge

Resident Douglass Tozzini gets his mask adjusted by caregiver Joseph Salazar at Gordon Manor assisted-care facility in Redwood City, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Photo: Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

It's becoming more urgent to vaccinate the staff that care for vulnerable nursing home patients. But the industry, which has been plagued with workforce issues, faces a major challenge when it comes to mandating shots, the New York Times reports.

By the numbers: Nursing homes had seen major drops in infections after becoming one of the major hotspots for cases and deaths earlier on in the pandemic. But those numbers have reversed in recent weeks, CDC data shows.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Aug 5, 2021 - Health

Why vaccine passports are still just a dream

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several practical and technological hurdles will stand in the way of widespread "vaccine passports."

Why it matters: COVID-19 vaccine mandates are quickly gaining steam, reviving interest in an easy, electronic way for people to verify that they're vaccinated. But that technology in some cases is still far from perfected, and some experts question how much it could really accomplish.