The University of Chicago announced on May 18 that it will require all students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the start of the 2021 fall quarter.
“This requirement will strengthen the University’s ability to protect the health and safety of our campus and neighboring communities,” wrote U. of C. Provost Ka Yee Lee and Dean of Students Michelle Rasmussen in an email shared by the school’s news service. “Universal COVID-19 vaccination for UChicago students will contribute to greater immunity, reduce the risk of sudden clusters of COVID-19 on campus, and help protect members of our community who are at the highest risk of developing serious disease from the virus.”
Students will need to show proof of vaccination through either medical records or a certification card. Vaccines approved by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization will be accepted; those include the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, as well as vaccines from AstraZeneca and Sinopharm available in other countries.
While the U. of C. is not currently mandating that employees, guests or visitors be vaccinated, administrators are “exploring whether COVID-19 vaccines will be required for those groups.” For students, there are “exemptions for religious or medical reasons as required by law.”
In late March, the school shared plans for “a full resumption” of on-campus activities by the fall. According to its own statistics, no students have tested positive for COVID since the week of April 23, though a cluster of more than 50 students contracted the virus in early April.