At least seven US colleges have said students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to come back to their campuses this fall with Brown University
At least seven US colleges have said students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to come back to their campuses this fall with Brown University and Northeastern University the latest to implement such rules.
Brown, Northeastern, Cornell University, Rutgers University, Fort Lewis College, Nova Southeastern University and St. Edward’s University each announced COVID-19 vaccination requirements for returning students in recent weeks.
Students with specific underlying medical conditions and religious beliefs can apply to be exempt from the rule which the institutions say is crucial to be able to welcome people back to in-person learning at full pre-pandemic capacity.
The move comes as a third of the US population is now at least partly inoculated against the virus and Joe Biden is set to bring forward a roadmap for all American adults to be eligible to get the vaccine.
At least seven US colleges have said students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to come back to their campuses this fall with Brown University (above) and North University the latest to implement such rules
Brown, a member of the Ivy League based in Providence, Rhode Island, on Tuesday became the latest to announce that students are to receive the vaccine before they will be permitted to return to campus for the fall semester.
Brown President Christina Paxson announced the decision in a letter, revealing that the vaccine is mandatory ‘for all undergraduate, graduate and medical students who will be on campus or engage in any level of in-person instruction.’
Paxson said students can apply for medical or religious exemptions but warned that anyone who does not get the shot and does not qualify for an exemption will not be allowed to step foot on campus in person.
These students will need to either petition to study remotely or will be required to take a leave of absence.
At present, the vaccine is not mandatory for all staff members at the college.
Paxson said the college’s COVID-19 Vaccine Working Group is still deciding whether to also make them mandatory for staff with a recommendation expected by June 1.
The university president said a vaccinated student body would allow for the fall 2021 semester returned to a similar sense of normalcy as seen in pre-pandemic times.
Northeastern in Boston (pictured) also announced Tuesday the decision that all students must be vaccinated saying it is necessary to reach herd immunity
‘We have every reason to expect that fall 2021 at Brown will look and feel much more like fall 2019 than fall 2020,’ Paxson wrote.
This will include inviting all graduate, undergraduate and medical students to enroll in-person, standard course enrollments and class sizes, standard room occupancy for student residences, on-campus student residency requirements restored and expanded dining and recreation options.
Paxson added: ‘Our top priority is safeguarding the health and well-being of our community while continuing to deliver an exceptional educational experience and supporting research and scholarship.’
Brown is home to 10,257 students, according to its website, including 7,043 undergraduates, 2,629 grad students and 585 medical students.
The fall semester is due to start on September 2.
Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, also announced Tuesday that all students must be fully vaccinated by the first day of the semester in September so that it can begin the new school year with full-time, in-person learning.
Ken Henderson, chancellor and senior vice president for learning at Northeastern, said this is crucial for the college to achieve herd immunity.
The move comes as a third of the US population is now at least partly inoculated against the virus and Joe Biden is set to bring forward a roadmap for all American adults to be eligible to get the vaccine
‘In order to get herd immunity, we need to get a maximum number of people possible vaccinated,’ he said.
‘If all, or nearly all of our students are vaccinated, we expect that we’ll be able to achieve herd immunity.’
Students will need to show the school proof of their vaccination status at the start of the semester, the university said.
Rutgers became the first major university to announce it was requiring students to get inoculated before the start of the fall semester.
The New Jersey-based college announced the move on March 25 with the rule applying to all three of its campuses: New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden.
The university pointed towards guidance from the CDC as well as the president’s aim at the time that everyone would be eligible for the vaccine as soon as May.
‘President Biden recently announced that he is encouraging all states to open their COVID-19 vaccine eligibility requirements to include all adults and, further, that he expects that all adults could have access to at least one inoculation dose by the early summer,’ the college wrote.
Meanwhile, faculty and staff meanwhile are so far not part of the mandate with the college saying it will ‘continue to strongly urge’ them to get vaccinated.
Others soon followed suit after Rutgers with St. Edward’s University announcing March 29 that all staff and students aged 16 or over must be vaccinated come September 1.
Cornell’s president and provost released a statement Friday announcing students must get vaccinated if they want to be allowed onto its upstate New York campuses.
Rutgers became the first major university to announce it was requiring students to get inoculated before the start of the fall semester
St. Edward’s University announcing March 29 that all staff and students aged 16 or over must be vaccinated come September 1
Nova Southeastern University in Florida (above) sent a letter also on Friday requiring students, faculty and staff returning to in-person learning to be fully vaccinated before the start of the semester
‘With the recent announcements of expanded vaccine eligibility in New York and other states, and increasing vaccine production, it is likely that all members of our community will be able to obtain vaccination sometime this spring or summer,’ Cornell President Martha Pollack and Provost Michael Kotlikoff wrote in a joint statement.
‘Accordingly, Cornell intends to require vaccination for students returning to Ithaca, Geneva, and Cornell Tech campuses for the fall semester.’
The letter continued: ‘Individuals who are not able to obtain vaccination prior to arrival for the fall semester, or whose vaccination is not recognized by New York state, will be expected to be vaccinated as soon after their arrival as possible, and Cornell is investigating ways to facilitate this process.’
Fort Lewis College sent a letter to the college community Friday with a similar mandate.
‘A broadly vaccinated student body provides our best hope for returning to the hands-on, inclusive, experiential, and personalized learning environment that we have all come to love,’ wrote President Tom Stritikus.
And Nova Southeastern University in Florida sent a letter also on Friday requiring students, faculty and staff returning to in-person learning to be fully vaccinated before the start of the semester.
‘We reached this decision after careful planning and consultation with our health care and operational professionals to ensure that we can indeed return to healthy campuses with appropriate safety precautions in place while implementing new guidelines,’ the university said.
US universities started shifting to online learning back in March when the virus spread across the country.
Most colleges started welcoming some students back ahead of the fall 2020 semesters.
Many opted for hybrid models with in-person learning for some and remote for others while colleges clamped down on college life including banning parties.
Now, 32.4 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 18.8 percent are fully vaccinated.
Joe Biden is expected to announce Tuesday that all American adults must be made eligible by states to receive the vaccine by April 19.
This would move the eligibility goalpost up by two weeks from the previous plan of May 1 as the pace of the rollout has steadily climbed.
A total of 34 states have already opened up vaccination eligibility to those 16 and older and 41 states will have it opened up to adults before April 19 anyway.
But there is much debate around organizations mandating people get the vaccine.
The Biden administration said there are several vaccine passport initiatives being developed by public and private entities.
The idea is facing a growing pushback from Republicans with Texas Governor Greg Abbott issuing an executive order Tuesday prohibiting the government from requiring state residents to show proof of inoculation.
This came one week after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took the same action.