Last week, the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees voted to implement a policy requiring all students attending UConn campuses in-person during the fall 2021 semester to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the University’s website.
“The goal of this policy is to help safeguard health and wellness on our campuses and in our communities by reducing the risk that the virus will be transmitted and cause illness, particularly in high-density congregant settings such as residence halls, dining halls, and classrooms,” Interim University President Andrew Agwunobi said in an email to the UConn community.
According to the proposal given during the Board of Trustees meeting, students who are not fully vaccinated upon arrival to campus in Aug. will receive their vaccination from UConn Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) and will be required to quarantine.
Students can find information on how to become vaccinated and where to apply for an exemption on the SHaW website. The deadline to submit an exemption request is July 15, and a status update will be sent out Aug. 6. Students not applying for an exemption must upload their vaccination status to the Student Health Portal by July 31.
The two types of exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccination are medical or non-medical, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If approved, students are required to take preventative safety against the virus measures throughout the year.
International students who have received a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by the FDA or WHO will also be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the university.
“Almost 61% of Storrs residential students already are vaccinated, and students from throughout the University indicated overwhelmingly in a recent survey that they planned to become vaccinated,” University Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said in an email.
In data presented at the board meeting, the current official vaccination rate as of June 2, 2021 shows that 60.7% of Storrs residential students are either partially or fully vaccinated. In a survey of 30,000 UConn students, 83.5% of 8,000 respondents unofficially reported that they are
vaccinated. Only 5.9% of respondents said they were either hesitant about receiving the vaccine or did not wish to get it.
UConn is following a trend among northeastern and western public universities to safely open their campus to near full capacity by fully vaccinating their student population upon arrival to campus this fall semester.