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Will Vermont colleges require vaccination passport?

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - Some colleges and universities across the country will require students to prove they got vaccinated before allowing them back on campus in the fall. It’s an approach some potential students say they might like to see.

“None of my schools say that they are going to require them, at least so far,” said Ana Sofia Aguilar, a Rutland High School senior who has still not committed to a college. “I hope of course to get the normal college experience as a freshman, especially in the fall.”

Aguilar is doing her part to battle the virus and has a vaccine appointment this Thursday. She says it would be difficult for colleges and universities to require the shot, but it would be a plus. “I do think it would be really good for me and my peers if everyone at the school is vaccinated and all of the teachers and everything,” she said.

No schools in our region that we spoke to have made a firm decision yet.”We know it is a topic of conversation. We have not made a decision yet, but we will certainly be keeping an eye on what happens. And any public health guidance that comes out, whether from the Vermont Department of Health or other national guidance around this issue,” said Vermont State College System Chancellor Sophie Zdatny.

Norwich University is sending a survey out twice a month asking students, faculty, and staff if they have been vaccinated and if they intend to get one. “We strongly encourage all to participate in getting vaccinated when it becomes available to them and then that will inform how we operate for the fall of 2021,” said the university’s Daphne Larkin.

Gary Derr, the vice president for operations and public safety at the University of Vermont agrees that getting vaccinated is encourage, adding that students have been through a lot this past year. “If they know that getting vaccinated, first and foremost will protect their health and the health of their friends and their family members and acquaintances, I think that this group will step up and do it,” he said.

Aguilar is confident her peers will get on board. “Students will definitely try to step up, especially if people could be wondering if it might be a requirement eventually,” she said.

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