UVM to require COVID-19 vaccinations for new and returning students

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FILE – In this Sunday, July 11, 2021 file photo, a doctor fills a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Kabul, Afghanistan. Top officials at the World Health Organization said Monday, July 12 there is not enough evidence to show that third doses of coronavirus vaccines are needed and appealed for the scarce shots to be shared with poor countries who have yet to immunize their populations instead of being used by rich countries as boosters. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, file)

The University of Vermont says it will require that students be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by the time they arrive on campus for the fall semester. 

The Executive Committee of the University of Vermont’s Board of Trustees today endorsed the requirement Friday.

“I have consulted with medical and public health experts at the university and in the state,” said UVM President Suresh Garimella. “The risk is simply too high to take chances with COVID-19, especially with thousands of our students coming from other states where vaccination rates are lower than ours.”

Saint Michael’s College and Bennington College have already said they will require the vaccination for the fall semester.

The university in a press release said that more than 80 percent of Vermont residents have had at least one dose of vaccine, a rate that leads the nation. About two thirds have had the full dose, according to the Vermont Department of Health.

“A fully vaccinated student population on our campus is the best way to continue to protect the health of students, employees, and the broader Burlington community against COVID-19,” said Garimella. “And it is the most effective way to ensure a vibrant campus experience for our students.” 

UVM said it will notify students and families about the requirement in the coming days.

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