UD requires student vaccinations; DSU requires them for all

Ken Mammarella Education, Featured, Headlines, Health

(Delaware State University photo)

(Delaware State University photo)

The University of Delaware announced Wednesday that all students must be vaccinated for COVID-19, and Delaware State University announced that all students and employees will be required to present proof of COVID-19 vaccinations to return to campus in August.

A letter by UD president Dennis Assanis mandates the student vaccinations by Aug. 15. His letter does not require vaccines for employees but adds: “Internal surveys reflect significant interest in vaccination among our students, faculty, and staff, with more than 96% of respondents being fully vaccinated, in the process of vaccination or having a desire to be vaccinated. To this end, UD will continue to offer vaccine events on campus to help ensure many more individuals are vaccinated.”

“While UD Human Resources welcomes self-reported vaccination status from all faculty and staff, we recognize certain provisions apply to UD employees associated with various workforce groups, prohibiting universal requirements of this nature,” Andrea Boyle Tippett, UD’s director of external relations explained.

DSU and DSU said they will accommodate documented exemptions for students who cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccine for medical or religious reasons.

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“We will work with everyone with a special situation,” DSU General Counsel LaKresha Moultrie said.

Here’s what some of the state’s other colleges and universities have said so far:

“School of Nursing and hospital leadership are still determining next steps for students,” Ryan Marshall, a spokesman for Beebe, said Wednesday.

“A working group has been appointed to consider employee and student vaccination requirements in order to return to campus,” Delaware Technical Community College said in an April 29 posting on its home page.

Goldey-Beacom College ” is currently discussing its plans for the return to campus in the fall 2021 semester and how best to ensure a safe and healthy campus for its students and employees,” spokesperson Janine G. Sorbello said Wednesday.

“Wilmington University will not require COVID-19 vaccinations for in-person learning this fall,” President LaVerne T. Harmon said Wednesday. “However, we do encourage staff and students to receive their vaccinations.”.

In requiring vaccinations for students, UD and DSU are following the guidelines established by the American College Health Association.

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“Colleges have long required vaccinations for infectious diseases,” NPR reported in April, citing a 2019 study in the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. “In a survey of about 100 four-year institutions representing all 50 states and Washington, D.C., nearly all required at least one vaccine for enrollment.”

“Our testing program in collaboration with Testing for America allowed us to bring back about 70% of our residential population last year for mostly hybrid courses,” Delaware State President Tony Allen said. “The vaccination requirement permits us to open up more space at both the university’s main campus and as well as the soon-to-be-acquired Wesley College campus, and to return to our normal methods of course delivery.”

“Despite the myths and misinformation surrounding the issue of COVID vaccinations, all of the existing vaccines are safe and effective,” Dr. Joan Coker of Testing for America said at a forum where the policy was announced.

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