University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Colleges and universities are working to keep their students and the community safe from COVID-19. Many said the best way to do that is with the vaccine. The University of Illinois is now requiring vaccines for students

There is no opt out option. If you are a student who can get the vaccine you have to get it before coming back on campus.

If you can’t get it because of an approved exemption you have to continue testing twice a week and wearing a mask.

The U of I is just one of many places to require students to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The University President made the announcement earlier this week. Chancellor Robert Jones said so far, students are reacting positively.

“I haven’t reveived a lot of push back on this. I think I got one email shortly after we sent out the mass email about this, but in general, I think our university students demonstrated last year that they take this very seriously,” Jones said.

Universities across the country have already made the decision to require or not require the vaccine. Many made the announcement as early as March.

Chancellor Jones said to him, it doesn’t matter when they made the call.

“So, no, we will not be the first. but I can tell you we will be the best. We will be the best at keeping our community safe,” he said.

He said before the semester ended they surveyed students on campus. 92% said they were planning on or already had been fully vaccinated.

Right now, the vaccine requirement is for students only, but he is strongly encouraging his faculty and staff to get vaccinated.

“We’re trying to provide an ecosystem around which that vaccination can actually replace the need to do the COVID-19 saliva test and the mask wearing,” Jones said.

And he said this is not a recommendation. It is a requirement.

“You can decide basically if you want to get vaccinated or do you want to continue to test if you plan to be on campus. Those are the two requirements,” he said.

Jones said faculty and staff guidance will come out in a couple of weeks. They’re still deciding on the best course of action.

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