URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The University of Illinois system announced in a Massmail Monday that all students will have to get vaccinated for the Fall 2021 semester if they plan to be on campus.

A copy of the Massmail can be found below.

Dear undergraduate and graduate students,

As you may have read in this message from President Tim Killeen, the University of Illinois System is moving into this next phase of the pandemic with a requirement that students at all three campuses (Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield) receive a complete course of COVID-19 vaccines before the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester.

We are in full support of President Killeen’s belief that COVID-19 vaccinations provide the best opportunity for our university to return to near-normal operations while still maximizing the safety of all members of our community as this deadly pandemic continues to threaten much of the world. While our university is still working through details of how we will work with you toward this requirement, I’m writing to outline the principles that will guide the fall semester at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign:

  1. For the Fall 2021 semester, it will be required that all students who are able to do so will be fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days after the final dose) with a university-accepted vaccine before beginning the fall semester if they plan to be on campus with no additional health and safety obligations.
  2. Individuals who are not able to be vaccinated and/or who have not had their record submitted and verified will be required to participate in the COVID-19 testing program and to continue wearing a face covering.
  3. The university is following Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance and accepting vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by either the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization. If you are not able to access one of the university-accepted vaccines, you will be able to receive an accepted vaccine upon your arrival to campus.
  4. Students should submit their Vaccination Record Card in the MyMcKinley Portal and have it verified before the beginning of the fall semester. Click here for more information on uploading your Vaccination Record Card.
  5. If you have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 and you are able to do so, you should be vaccinated as soon as possible. Visit vaccines.gov to find available appointments or walk-in hours in your local area.
  6. We acknowledge that some individuals have health conditions or other reasons why they cannot be vaccinated. For those individuals, the COVID-19 testing program and face coverings will continue to be required.

We will soon be providing more detailed information on requirements, policies and expectations for the fall semester, so I ask that you carefully read your messages from the university and from your departments and colleges in the coming weeks.

Our science-based, SHIELD-led testing and tracing ecosystem has allowed unmatched opportunities to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic with a level of confidence that was not available to many other universities. Our SHIELD ecosystem in combination with the availability of accessible and effective vaccines will allow us to have an academic year that feels far more normal.

The CDC has shared data showing that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and fully vaccinated individuals can start to resume most aspects of pre-pandemic life. I am hopeful that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to improve and we are able to use this new policy to provide more freedoms and experiences for you in the coming academic year.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate this next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Robert J. Jones

Another announcement was issued to the entire University of Illinois System. You can read that Massmail below.

Dear students, faculty and staff:

To continue our commitment to collective safety the University of Illinois System will require that all students receive a COVID-19 vaccination if they plan to be on campus for fall semester 2021: This requirement is consistent with our own scientific modeling of the risks associated with the spread of the virus and its variants. It is also consistent with the Illinois Department of Public Health’s goals.

We recognize that some individuals have health conditions or other reasons why they cannot be vaccinated. That is why it is so important that those of us who can get vaccinated do so. Those. who are not vaccinated will need to follow. campus-specific guidelines and any exemption protocols issued by each university, Individuals who plan to work or study remotely are exempted from these requirements.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, students have helped make the University of Illinois System a model for the nation- a model of community, a model of safety and a model of pulling together for the common good. We look forward to their help in setting the standard again this fall, a semester that will restore most in-person instruction and many of the other traditional rhythms of campus life that COVID interrupted last year. Widespread vaccinations will help us do that.

Each university will follow up with additional guidance on vaccination information as well as other safety measures planned for fall. We also will continue to monitor our policies closely, making adjustments as appropriate based on advances in scientific understanding and updated guidance from public health authorities

Guidelines for faculty and staff are still being developed and will be shared later this summer.


Tim Killeen