Many universities across the United States have required their students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before fall semester begins, while several others have already reported high rates of COVID-19 vaccinations among students and staff.
As of August 23, 90 percent of students and 94 percent of employees at Harvard University have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The university is also asking other community members who must be present on campus in autumn to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Erudera.com reports.
The majority of students and employees at two other popular US universities located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, such as Lesley University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have also been vaccinated.
Students at Lesley University are obliged to provide proof of being fully vaccinated or an approved exemption for medical or religious reasons in order to be able to pursue studies and get involved in university’s in-person activities this fall.
“We will follow our established policy for approving medical and religious exemptions for immunizations, and we will work with international students and others who may have difficulty accessing the vaccine by fall,” a statement issued by Lesley University reads.
Similar to other universities, one of the most popular private universities in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has also been requiring all its students, employees, and other members to be vaccinated, excluding those who can provide an exemption for medical or religious reasons. As of August 27, 98 percent of MIT community members have been vaccinated.
According to new guidance released from the Massachusetts Higher Education Testing Group, residential colleges and universities should make sure that their communities whose presence on campuses is required this fall, are at least 80 or more than 90 percent vaccinated against COVID-19.
Other universities are offering different incentives to get students and faculty vaccinated, from free tuition to gift certificates. In July, the University of Wisconsin (UW) System advised all students and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine, at the same time, it announced that all those who are vaccinated could win a $7,000 scholarship.
Some universities in Texas have also been using incentive programs to convince students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated, including Texas A&M International University in Laredo and Texas A&M University in College Station, the University of Texas at Austin, and more.
More than 700 US universities and colleges in the United States require COVID-19 vaccination for the fall semester, with most of them allowing exceptions for medical or religious reasons.
Most recently, the University of Virginia disenrolled more than 200 students who failed to comply with the university’s vaccine requirement.