NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (WBTW) — Rutgers University will require all students to get the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus in the fall, the university said in a statement.
The university said the decision was made after being assured by the federal government that enough vaccines would be available for all adults by the end of May.
“We are committed to health and safety for all members of our community, and adding COVID-19 vaccination to our student immunization requirements will help provide a safer and more robust college experience for our students,” Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said.
Students will be able to request an exemption for medical or religious reasons, and students participating in online programs will not be required to be vaccinated, the university said.
The university also received approval from the State of New Jersey to administer vaccines on campus.
“The COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death,” said Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and executive vice president for health affairs at Rutgers. “Vaccination is key to stopping the current pandemic and to the return of campus instruction and activities closer to what we were accustomed to before the pandemic drastically changed life at Rutgers.”
Students under the age of 18 will be advised to get the Pfizer vaccine, since it is currently the only one in the U.S. approved for 16- and 17-year-olds, the university said.