Rutgers to require COVID-19 vaccination for students this fall

Rutgers University students
Photo credit Michael Karas/ via Imagn Content Services, LLC

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (1010 WINS) — Rutgers University has announced that all students planning to attend in-person classes in the fall semester must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with limited exceptions.

The university announced in a letter Thursday that it will be updating its Immunization Requirements for Students to include the COVID-19 vaccine as it moves toward a full return to a "pre-pandemic normal" for the new school year.

Students will be required to provide proof of vaccination, but can request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons.

"Any vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. (currently Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson) is acceptable," the university said. "It is understood that some incoming students may be 17 years old, and may be only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine."

Students who are enrolled in fully online degree programs or participating in fully online or off-campus Continuing Education programs will not need to provide proof of vaccination.

Rutgers said vaccination will allow the school to increase face-to-face course offerings and academic experiences, hold more events and activites, expand dining and recreation options, and strengthen interpersonal collaboration among faculty, students, and researchers.

"Most important, a safer Rutgers community supports a safer New Jersey for our families, our friends, and our neighbors across the state," the university said.

The university has also been approved by the state to administer vaccines to faculty, staff, and students at its clinics, but has yet to receive a supply.

"From the onset of the pandemic, the safety of the broader Rutgers community has been our shared responsibility. This has never been more true. The importance of an effective vaccination program to make our community safer for all cannot be overstated," the university said. "We appreciate your patience, understanding, and commitment to health and safety during these challenging times, and we look forward to seeing you on campus this fall."