Columbia University will mandate that its students get coronavirus vaccines in order to return to in-person classes in the fall. Students will still be forced to wear masks and engage in “social distancing” on campus.
“On the strong recommendation of our public health colleagues, who have advised us so ably throughout this process, President Bollinger and the Columbia University COVID Task Force have decided to make the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all students who are present on campus, starting this fall,” read an email sent to students and staff, according to the New York Post.
School officials claim that vaccinating the entire student body will contribute to restoring a “vibrant and full experience” for students on campus.
“We regard this decision as essential to ensuring the health of Columbia students and the broader University and surrounding community, and also to containing the spread of the virus in New York City, one of the most severely affected locations in the country throughout this past 13 months,” the university added.
But despite being vaccinated, the university says that students will still be required to wear masks and engage in “social distancing” on campus.
The school also said it would entertain requests to be exempt from getting the vaccine for religious and medical reasons.
The university added that it has already arranged for 11,000 students and staff members to get the vaccine.
Columbia University is not the only institution of higher learning mandating that its students get the coronavirus vaccine before returning to in-person classes.
Last month, Rutgers University became the first major U.S. college to mandate the vaccine for its students when it announced that students would have to get the jab if they wanted to cease virtual learning and return to campus in the fall.