UVM will require vaccination, even under the current emergency use authorization. This is different than the guidance announced last month.
University officials had said they would mandate shots once one COVID-19 vaccine became FDA approved. But now, they say the risk is too high, with students coming from states seeing an increase in cases.
Some exemptions are being made for religious and medical reasons. The college says it will work with students who may still need to receive a second dose once they arrive for the semester. While it’s mandatory for students, the vaccine is not a requirement for UVM faculty and staff.
VP of operations and public safety Garry Derr says 50% of the student body has already provided proof of vaccination. He says those who remain reluctant will need to adjust their course-load to accommodate online courses.
“We looked at some of the changing circumstances across the country. 40 states reporting increases in COVID cases right now,” he said. “We just decided that in order to return to healthy full operations in the fall, we needed to move to where the vaccine would be required for our students.”
Mayor Miro Weinberger released a statement welcoming this, saying in part
“Covid vaccines have proven themselves to be extraordinarily safe and effective, including against known variants such as the more transmissible delta variant, and having the entire student body inoculated will help keep community infection rates at very low levels this upcoming fall and winter.”