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UVM board endorses mandatory student vaccination plan

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 11:45 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The University of Vermont board of trustees Friday endorsed a plan to require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they start their fall semester.

UVM’s president, Suresh Garimella, says the risk is too high to take chances, especially given that students will be coming from across the country to attend school He says a fully vaccinated student body will also protect the community.

“The risk is simply too high to take chances with COVID-19, especially with thousands of our students coming from other states where vaccination rates are lower than ours,” Garimella said in a statement. He said vaccination is the most effective way to ensure a vibrant campus experience.

The decision announced goes further than a notice from the school last month that it would require students to be vaccinated if the vaccines had received final approval from the Food and Drug Administration. UVM Vice President Gary Derr tells the AP it’s unlikely the FDA will give such approval before the start of the school year. He says about half of the incoming 13,500 students in all of the university’s colleges have provided proof of vaccination.

UVM says it will be communicating with students and families about the requirement in the coming days.

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