- Rutgers University will require students to get the COVID-19 vaccine to attend in the fall.
- Students attending any of Rutgers’ three New Jersey campuses must show proof of vaccination.
- Students may request exemption from the requirement for medical or religious reasons.
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Rutgers University in New Jersey said Thursday that students attending in-person in the fall will be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine.
“In support of Rutgers’ commitment to health and safety for all members of its community, the University will be updating its Immunization Requirements for Students to include the COVID-19 vaccine,” says a letter from the university’s leadership. “This health policy update means that, with limited exceptions, all students planning to attend in the Fall 2021 semester must be fully vaccinated. In parallel, we continue to strongly urge all Rutgers faculty and staff to get immunized against COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity.”
The letter said all students attending classes this fall will be required to show “proof of vaccination” by any of the three vaccines currently authorized in the US. In cases of students who will be 17 in the fall, the university acknowledged they might only be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
The university cited the benefits of requiring COVID-19 vaccination among its campus community, including “an expedited return to pre-pandemic normal,” “additional face-to-face course offerings and academic experiences,” “opportunities for a wider range of events and activities offered at our campuses,” “expanded dining and recreation options,” and “greater interpersonal collaboration among faculty, students, and researchers.”
Students at any of Rutgers’ three main New Jersey campuses – in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden – are required to show proof of vaccination, according to The New York Times.
The university added that “students planning to attend the fall 2021 semester may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons.”
Students enrolled in fully online programs will not be required to show proof of vaccination, the university said.
“From the onset of the pandemic, the safety of the broader Rutgers community has been our shared responsibility,” the letter said. “This has never been more true. The importance of an effective vaccination program to make our community safer for all cannot be overstated.”
The school said in its letter that it plans to open on-campus vaccine clinics, but until it receives vaccines to administer, students and faculty are encouraged to register in their respective states and communities.
The United States has administered more than 136 million doses of the vaccine as of Friday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
President Joe Biden in a news conference on Thursday said his new goal is for the US to administer 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by his 100th day in office, which will be April 30.