University of Scranton to mandate student vaccines

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Vaccination required. Ahead of summer break, the University of Scranton says students must be vaccinated when they return to campus this fall.

“In an effort to best protect our campus and surrounding community, the President’s Cabinet and I have decided that all students attending in-person classes or accessing campus for other reasons must be fully vaccinated by August 27, 2021,” Acting President Jeffrey P. Gingerich, Ph.D., wrote in a message to the University community.

“During a recent campus-based vaccination clinic, nearly 1,000 students, faculty and staff were vaccinated. We know from student surveys that hundreds of others are already fully vaccinated, reflecting that vaccines are now widely available. These levels of vaccination are encouraging but not enough,” wrote Dr. Gingerich of the University’s decision.

The “U” had a recent vaccination clinic and nearly 1,000 faculty and staff were vaccinated. Through a campus survey, hundreds of others say they are fully vaccinated.

The university says they want to keep that going as vaccines become more available. Acting president Jeffrey Gingerich made the announcement that all students who plan to return to campus this fall will have to be vaccinated by August 27th.

Gingerich says the university has joined more than 300 colleges and universities across the country in helping keep students, the campus and surrounding communities safe against COVID-19.

“Protect myself, protect my friends and really just like I said getting back to normal on campus. I think that’s’ the biggest step that we have to take to have some kind of normalcy,” junior Adrianna Smith said.

“Very excited to have class in person again because online learning is not for me personally. So I am excited to actually participate more in class and have my labs again,” grad student Carli Tetla said.

“Vaccines are the best defense against the virus and its variants, and they are most effective when everyone is vaccinated,” Gingerich said.

At this time the university is not mandating the same requirement for faculty and staff. The acting president says they reserve the right to do so in the future.

While full vaccinations are required for students, students may request a waiver in accordance with state law. The university is also encouraging faculty and staff to get vaccinated for COVID as well.

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