Students planning to return to Brown University this fall have to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus in order to do so.
President Christina Paxson shared the news through a letter directed to the university community, highlighting that the vaccine would be mandatory for “all undergraduate, graduate and medical students who will be on campus or engage in any level of in-person instruction.”
The school will allow medical, religious, and reasonable accommodations exemptions as determined by law. Paxson clarified that unvaccinated students who are not eligible for an exemption will not be permitted to enter the campus but could ask to attend classes online or submit a leave of absence.
According to President Paxson, the university’s COVID-19 Vaccine Working Group is yet to decide whether the staff should be obliged to get the vaccine or not.
“The group will provide me with a recommendation by June 1, and policies and protocols will be based on the best scientific evidence. If Brown decides to make the vaccine mandatory for employees, medical and religious exemptions will be granted, and reasonable accommodations will be provided under applicable law,” Paxson stated.
Brown University says it is expecting an almost regular year, two academic semesters, in-person enrollment, regular class and occupation sizes, and other factors indicating the university is optimistic about the COVID-19 post-vaccination within the campus.
As per face masks and rapid asymptomatic tests, the university hasn’t decided yet whether these preventive measures will be obligatory.
President Paxson also noted that these decisions are based on information from the federal Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the state Health Department and other health experts.
Brown University has admitted 1,652 new students this year, who will be joining the 885 early decision applications of last December, taking the number of new enrollments to 2,537. The university also has reported the highest number of received applications this year, a total of 46,568 students, which marked a 27 percent increase compared to last year.
A similar announcement was made by Roger William’s University last week, demanding vaccination for their students’ comeback.
Recently, the Iowa State University (ISU) has revealed its plans to start mass vaccination as soon as possible, starting from April 19. The decision came right after positive infection cases were doubled up compared to the beginning of the spring semester, which started on January 25. ISU is also to decide about the face coverings and frequent asymptomatic tests later with a set date in August.
The University of Houston has also started its mass vaccination at the Health Center on its campus earlier this month in collaboration with Walgreen, which has been a top supplier of anti-COVID-19 vaccines.