NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers University will require that all students be vaccinated for the coronavirus before arriving for classes in the fall, the university said Thursday.
The federal government’s assurance of vaccine supply for all Americans prompted Rutgers to make the decision, the university said in a statement.
Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and executive vice president for health affairs, said the vaccine is the key “to the return of campus instruction and activities closer to what we were accustomed to before the pandemic.”
“The COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death,” Storm said in the statement.
The university said students may request an exemption from vaccination for medical or religious reasons. Students participating in online-only classes will not be required to be vaccinated.
Students enrolling at Rutgers who are under 18 will be advised to receive the Pfizer vaccine because it’s approved for people age 16 and up, the university said.
Faculty and staff are strongly urged to receive a vaccination, a university official said in the statement.
Rutgers said it has received approval from the state of New Jersey to administer vaccines on campus to faculty, staff and students once vaccine supplies are available to the university.