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Wesleyan University students react to COVID-19 vaccine requirement for fall

Every student, except those who have approved medical or religious exemptions, will need to verify with the school that they are fully vaccinated prior to arrival.

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — Wesleyan University will require all students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to returning to campus for the fall semester.

The university said every student, with the exception of those who have approved medical or religious exemptions, will need to verify with the school that they are fully vaccinated prior to their arrival.

“We talked to our medical people and we concluded that our campus will be a lot safer if all of our students are vaccinated,” said Wesleyan University President Michael Roth.

The university also said it highly encourages faculty and staff to be vaccinated as soon as they are able.

Students living on campus weighed in on the decision Tuesday.

“It would make me feel a lot safer if everyone who could got a vaccine,” said freshman Theo Dolan.

“I also think it’s really important to keep not only Wesleyan safe but the Middletown community in general safe,” said freshman Ariana Blaustein.

“I’m happy to get it. I think to every student it’s their decision whether they want to stay on campus or get the vaccine and that’s completely up to them. I’m not going to judge them for whatever they choose,” said freshman Sara Beth Bouchard.

For students who are currently studying on campus, Wesleyan and the Community Health Center will sponsor a clinic.

The original plan was to administer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine; however, due to the FDA review of the vaccine, Wesleyan is working with CHC on alternatives. Details regarding the clinic will be provided later.

FOX61 also reached out to other colleges and universities in Connecticut to see if they are planning on requiring students to get the COVID-19 prior to the fall semester.

“Right now we are strongly encouraging all UConn students to get vaccinated. This is not a requirement, but again, a strong recommendation. As of right now, this is our plan for the fall as well,” said Michael Enright, Deputy Spokesperson for UConn.

“We want as many people on our campuses as possible to get vaccinated, and we are in the process of setting up on-campus vaccine clinics at the universities in coming weeks to ensure our students have the opportunity to receive at least one dose before the conclusion of the semester. CSCU is reviewing the possibility of a vaccine requirement in conjunction with state officials and colleagues in higher education in Connecticut. In the meantime, we are working with our state partners to make vaccines available before end of the semester and finding ways to incentivize people to get vaccinated, even if it does not become a requirement,” said Leigh Appleby, the director of Communications for Connecticut State Colleges & Universities.

“We have not made any decisions about whether or not to mandate the vaccine,” said Associate Director of Public Relations at Quinnipiac University John Pettit.

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