Rutgers among first universities to require Covid vaccines for students

A Rutgers University banner. | AP Photo / Matt Rourke

Rutgers University requires Covid-19 vaccines for all students enrolled in the fall semester of 2021. This makes the flagship University of New Jersey one of the first in the nation to require proof of vaccination for attending courses on campus.

“We are committed to the health and safety of all members of our community, and adding COVID-19 vaccinations to our student vaccination requirements will help provide our students with a safer, more robust college experience,” said Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway in a message to students on Thursday.

Details: According to the universityA “Vaccination Certificate” is required for all students planning to attend Rutgers’ three main campuses – New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden – this fall.

Students can request exceptions for medical or religious reasons, and students enrolled in online or distance-only programs that do not use campus facilities are not required to provide proof of vaccination, according to the university.

Rutgers officials said in a statement that students can provide evidence that they have received a vaccine approved for use in the United States – currently Johnson & Johnson of Moderna, Pfizer and New Brunswick. Students under the age of 18 are currently only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

Rutgers enrolls around 70,000 students at its three locations. According to the School dashboard1,756 students have tested positive for Covid-19 since last May.

Rutgers faculty and staff are “strongly encouraged” to receive the vaccine, Antonio Calcado, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the university, said in a statement.

Context: This policy is a marked change from what Rutgers officials said in January. Vice Chancellor for Biomedicine and Health Sciences Vicente Gracias told the students in a video At the time when “Rutgers, with our stance on human freedoms and our history of protection, the vaccine is not mandatory.”

In its statement on Thursday, the university’s messaging focused on shared responsibility.

“An effective vaccination program is a continuation of Rutger’s commitment to health and safety for all members of our community of more than 71,000 students, the cities we live in and the communities we serve across New Jersey,” said Calcado.

Is it legal Also called Governor Phil Murphy floats the possibility of vaccination certificates for New JerseyersLegal experts have questioned whether companies and employers can mandate vaccinations based on their permit status for emergency use permit.

Instructions of the federal authority for the monitoring of food and drugs has made it clear that vaccines must be voluntary and that individuals must “have the option to accept or decline the EUA product”.

“The university is pleased with the legal authority that supports this policy, which has been thoroughly scrutinized by our attorney general,” Rutgers spokesman Dory Devlin told POLITICO in an email.

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