ST. LOUIS – Washington University announced Wednesday they are requiring students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before returning for the Fall 2021 academic school year.
School officials say, “Vaccination against COVID-19 will play a key role in allowing us to resume our regular activities, protect our community, and prevent the spread of illness both on our campuses and in the St. Louis region, including, importantly, the patients we serve in our hospitals.”
They are requiring all Washington University students on the Danforth and Medical Campuses to be fully vaccinated before they arrive on campus for the start of their academic term or August 30, whichever comes first.
The university says they will allow exemptions for students who cannot receive the vaccine for religious or medical reasons.
Students FOX 2/KPLR 11 talked to Wednesday had mixed reactions to the requirement.
“I think the requirement is interesting, I definitely see both sides of it but I think it’s kind of hard to make a sweeping gesture like that,” Daniel-Hannah Grace, a student at Washington University, said. “I understand if my future employer or hospital is going to make me get the vaccine because we may be working with people who may have preexisting conditions or people who aren’t able to get the vaccine, but I think for a college campus it’s not quite the same level, so I have a little harder time backing something like that.”
“I think it’s fair that they want people to be vaccinated,” Ainsley Avis, a Washington University student, said. “I would prefer that everyone is vaccinated so we don’t have to deal with this anymore.”
Lindenwood University Director of Communications Julee Mitsler said the university has not decided if its going to require the vaccine for students.
“We’ve considered all sorts of options, everything from requiring vaccines to not requiring vaccines and some of those variations in the middle, what were’ doing right now is trying to make sure that we’re making the best decision not only for our campus community, but for the surrounding St. Charles community that we’re a part of,” Mitsler said.
“I feel like maybe it should be optional instead of pressured onto students, but just to give them that option Madisyn Zigrang, a junior at Lindenwood University said. “But I definitely feel like for sports teams and like social gathering it should be important to mandate here at Lindenwood.”
Mizzou said it does not have plans to require the vaccine since cases on campus have stayed low since last fall.
St. Louis University said a requirement is being discussed but no decisions have been made yet.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville said any decision must come from the State Board of Education, which has not set a mandate as of now.