DC-area universities consider requiring students to get COVID-19 vaccine before fall

As the coronavirus vaccine becomes more available, local colleges and universities are looking into whether to require students to get the shot before heading to campus this fall.

Rutgers in New Jersey was the first major university to announce that all students must be vaccinated against the coronavirus before arriving for classes.

We might see that happen at D.C.-area colleges and universities as well.

A spokesperson for the University of Maryland in College Park told WTOP that they are considering it.

“We have made a request of the University System of Maryland and the Maryland Office of Attorney General to allow for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination within our community, and we await guidance for what is allowable in our state,” said Hafsa Siddiqi, a University of Maryland media relations manager, in an email.

University System of Maryland spokesperson Mike Lurie said in an email that “The USM is currently reviewing its authority to mandate whether students should be vaccinated against COVID-19.”

WTOP reached out to several D.C.-area universities on possible area mandates.

American University and George Washington University say they are still coming up with a plan for the upcoming year.

Rutgers does have an exemption in its requirement for students for religious and medical reasons.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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