University of Rochester requiring COVID-19 vaccination for students


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The University of Rochester is requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all undergraduate and graduate students who plan to enroll and be on campus for the next school year.
University leaders made the move to limit outbreaks on campus and so they can resume in-person activities. 

Students at the University of Rochester are longing for a return to normal campus life,
and some see COVID-19 vaccine requirements as a way of getting there.

“I think it’s a good plan to have all the students vaccinated so everyone can go back to the classroom and have our normal school life back again,” said Vanessa Lee, University of Rochester student.

University leaders believe requiring vaccination is the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19. For students coming back in the fall, that is giving them peace of mind. 

“Considering we are in like a congregated setting and, you don’t have to be on campus. I think if you’re choosing to be on campus then I definitely think the vaccine should be a requirement,” said Tara Smyth, first year.

Students can request medical or religious vaccine exemptions, but for those who chose not to vaccinate, there will be no remote learning option-raising questions about freedom of choice. 

“It’s both a good thing, like I’m glad everyone is getting vaccinated. But I also understand choice, but like I’m with the science so it’s like, Okay I do support vaccines,” said Tyler Howard, a grad student.

Vaccines are being offered at the University’s Medical Center and international students can vaccinate once they arrive. Students who already got their dose says the university has made the vaccine accessible. 

“On my experience with getting the vaccine, it was very easy. We just have to sign up. They keep emailing us about getting the vaccine so, they’ve been really helpful,” said Lama Tenzign, first year.

“I think its so important for everyone’s peace of mind its been such a year of pandemic stress so I think there’s light on the horizon,” said Kate Hesler, nursing program student.

The University will be sending out more details on the requirement, including how students will show their proof of vaccination. 

The University will continue to follow CDC and state guidelines, which, as of now, require face masks, physical distancing, and adherence to other COVID-19 protocols.

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