CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — University of Illinois officials said they are now requiring students, staff and faculty to get a COVID-19 booster shot when they are eligible.

In a mass email U of I President Tim Killeen said, “There is now significant evidence that vaccinations plus boosters are effective at preventing infections from developing into serious illness.”

Killeen stated those who already had exemptions from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons will still be exempted from this requirement. Those employees under a union contract will have guidance implemented at the universities through applicable collective bargaining processes, according to Killeen.

Throughout the pandemic we have worked diligently to keep our universities and their surrounding communities safe. Now, in the face of this new variant, we must again act collectively to protect both the health and safety of our communities and the quality of the educational experience that makes the U of I System truly extraordinary.

Tim Killeen — President, University of Illinois

University officials said they will continue to monitor policies and make adjustments where appropriate based on updated guidance.