Rutgers University will become one of the first institutions in the U.S. to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a report by CNBC, all students returning to campus in the fall will have to be fully vaccinated with any of the three currently available COVID-19 shots which include the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Students under 18 will only be eligible for the Pfizer shot as it is authorized for use by the FDA for people as young as 16-years-old.
Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway announced the change Thursday, saying in a statement the university plans to update its immunization requirements for students on campus to include the Covid-19 vaccine…
Students who are fully enrolled in online courses without access to on-campus facilities will be exempt from getting vaccinated, according to the statement, as well as those with medical or religious reasons that prohibit immunization.
Many universities across the U.S., following varied reopening plans, have struggled to return students to their campuses during the pandemic. Some institutions have been forced to crack down on off-campus gatherings and events that have caused outbreaks in the surrounding community.
Holloway said in a statement, “From the onset of the pandemic, the safety of the broader Rutgers community has been our shared responsibility. This has never been more true. The importance of an effective vaccination program to make our community safer for all cannot be overstated.”
Rutgers based its decision partly on President Joe Biden’s announcement that every American will be able to access the COVID vaccine by the end of May.
According to the University, this will enable the campus to return to “pre-pandemic normal” and enable the school to resume many activities that were halted due to the virus.
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