Rutgers University, a public university in New Brunswick, N.J., with a student population of 71,000-plus, has declared that all students enrolled for the fall 2021 semester must be vaccinated against COVID before they arrive on campus. Moreover, even being vaccinated, students will have to social distance and wear masks.
Rutgers apparently is the first university in the nation to mandate COVID vaccination for its students.
“We are committed to health and safety for all members of our community, and adding COVID-19 vaccination to our student immunization requirements will help provide a safer and more robust college experience for our students,” said Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway, as reported by Rutgers Today.
Students are allowed to request an exemption from vaccination for medical or religious reasons, according to the school’s communications office.
The vaccine is not required for Rutgers faculty and staff. However, school officials strongly urge the faculty to receive the vaccine.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have said that the safety of the Rutgers community is a shared responsibility,” said Antonio Calcado, the chief operating officer at Rutgers. “An effective vaccination program is a continuation of Rutgers’ commitment to health and safety for all members of our community of more than 71,000 students, the cities we are in and the communities we serve throughout New Jersey.”
Even though vaccinated, Rutgers students will still be “required to practice social distancing and use face coverings,” reported the New York Times.
“We urge all members of our community to pre-register for the vaccine on the state COVID-19 website to get vaccinated at the earliest opportunity and the first available location,” Rutgers Today reported.