College students hesitant to receive a Covid-19 vaccination may need to rethink their decision. As most colleges in the US inch toward the end of the spring semester, a new procedure is taking shape for their return.
More than 100 US colleges and universities have said they will require all their students to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before they return to campus for the fall semester, according to a CNN tally.
Earlier this month, the tally indicated that at least 14 universities and colleges were adopting that policy. Since then, dozens of higher education institutions have jumped on the bandwagon, demonstrating the trajectory of vaccine requirements. Some schools have said they will make exemptions for medical, religious or personal reasons
Most recently, Drew University, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Washington State University and the University of Portland were among the institutions to join the growing list. Most schools adopting that policy are private, though some public institutions have as well.
“Consistent with the growing consensus of colleges and universities across the country, UMass Lowell will require all residential and commuter students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the beginning of the fall semester to live, learn or visit any UMass Lowell campus or property,” the university said in a statement.
The University of Portland took the policy a step further and announced that it will require all students, faculty and staff to receive a Covid-19 vaccination.
“We recognize that not all areas of the country or the world have equity in access to vaccines, and we commit to providing assistance to our students and employees,” the University of Portland said in a statement on its website.
Meanwhile, a recent Quinnipiac University poll found 36% of adults under the age of 35 don’t plan on getting the vaccine.
This is a problem because Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations have been increasing. And younger adults, most of whom aren’t vaccinated, account for the majority of the uptick, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rutgers University in New Jersey became one of the first in the nation to mandate coronavirus vaccines for all students ahead of the fall semester. And the number of other institutions to follow suit is expected to grow.