Rutgers University announced on Thursday that all students returning to campus in the fall of 2021 should be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The mandate applies to all three of the school’s campus locations: New Brunswick, Newark and Camden.
The university is believed to be the first in the United States to make the vaccine mandatory for students.
The announcement came from the school president’s office as the school is committed to a “full return to our pre-pandemic standard as a vibrant institution.”
Rutgers University is preparing to return only vaccinated students to campus this fall
All students taking classes on campus must have proof of vaccination
The university in their decision pointed to guidance from the CDC, as well as Joe Biden’s hope that everyone will be eligible for the vaccine as early as May.
While students should be vaccinated for the fall semester 2021, faculty and staff are urged to “ be immunized against COVID-19 as soon as possible. ”
Rutgers cites the benefits of their requirement, including more in-person courses, more on-campus events and activities, better dining options, and more collaboration.
The university will also begin to vaccinate people on campus after they get approval, but they don’t have a vaccine stockpile yet.
Students must have proof of their vaccine, even 17 year olds who are currently only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
Students can apply for an exemption from the vaccine on medical or religious grounds.
Rutgers is also approved to administer vaccines, but has no offer (photo: the Javits Center, a testing center in New York City)
Country-wide vaccinations remain a priority in the fight against COVID-19 (photo: a mass vaccination site prepares to open Feb. 24 in Queens, New York)
Those who take classes exclusively online or off campus do not need to receive the vaccine.
“ Most importantly, a safer Rutgers community supports a safer New Jersey for our families, our friends and our neighbors across the state, ” says the letter, signed by President Jonathan Holloway, Executive Vice President Prabhas V. Moghe and Executive Vice President Antonio M. Calcado.
“We’re trying to build America’s safest campus,” said Calcado NJ Advance Media‘That is really what our goal is: to try to be as safe as possible.
Rutgers – with an enrollment of 71,000 students, including 51,200 students – has been testing COVID-19 on their campuses since May 20, and achieves a positivity rate of 1.26 percent as of March 20.
Since the start of their program, 2,348 people have tested positive, including 1,756 students and 558 university employees.
According to NJ Advance Media, a top official said earlier in January that the COVID-19 vaccine would not be needed for college students in the fall.
“Rutgers, with our stance of human freedoms and our history of protecting it, the vaccine is not mandatory,” said Vicente Gracias, Senior Vice Chancellor of Biomedical Sciences and Health Sciences.
Even though vaccinations are now required, it does not guarantee that Rutgers will have all students back on campus in the autumn.
The school will test plans for a rotating personal learning schedule over the summer.
Rutgers currently has a limited number of in-person instruction and campus residences available to students.
There are a total of more than 30 million COVID-10 cases in the US, with more than 545,000 deaths
However, vaccinations are on the rise: more than a quarter of the population is partially vaccinated
It’s not clear how much of New Jersey – and the nation – will be vaccinated by the time Rutgers’ fall semester begins on Sept. 1.
More than 133 million doses of vaccine had been administered by March 25, according to the CDC.
About 26.3 percent of the total population of the United States has received at least one dose, while 14.3 percent has been fully vaccinated.
That includes partial vaccination for 33.7 percent of the population 18 or older and 18.3 percent of those 18 or older fully vaccinated crown.
COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on the country, with 30,011,550 cases across the country and 545,282 dead and still counted.