Aug 13, 2021 - COVID

University of Minnesota to require COVID-19 shots for students

person walking across u of m campus

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents voted Friday to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for students.

Why it matters: The requirement, which takes effect once the Food and Drug Administration grants full approval for the shots, impacts tens of thousands of students at the system's five schools, including the flagship Twin Cities campus.

  • Faculty and staff who aren't vaccinated will be asked to "commit to COVID-19 testing on a regular schedule to be determined."

How we got here: U of M president Joan Gabel reversed an earlier decision to not mandate shots amid growing pressure from students and faculty concerned about spread of the Delta variant.

The big picture: Hundreds of colleges and universities, including many here in Minnesota, are mandating the shots this fall.

What they're saying: "Looking at what is happening currently, and what appears to be on the horizon with the rise of new variants and case counts nationwide, the Board supported the vaccine mandate for our students to provide the best possible chance for safe, in-person and uninterrupted University experiences this fall," Ken Powell, who serves as the board's chair, said in a statement.

Of note: Exemptions will be available for medical and religious reasons.

  • University leadership is still working out the details of how students will report their vaccination status and what, if any, consequences will be handed down for noncompliance.

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