URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois is requiring students attending classes in person this fall to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before stepping onto its three campuses, officials said Monday.
In a mass email, University President Tim Killeen said the requirement for its campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Springfield and Chicago is consistent with the school’s own modeling of the risks associated with the spread of the virus and its variants.
“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, students have helped make the University of Illinois System a model for the nation — a model of community, a model of safety and a model of pulling together for the common good,” Killeen said. “We look forward to their help in setting the standard again this fall, a semester that will restore most in-person instruction and many of the other traditional rhythms of campus life that COVID interrupted last year. Widespread vaccinations will help us do that.”
Students who can’t be vaccinated because of their health or other reasons must follow each campus’ COVID-19 protocols, according to officials. Those who are studying remotely aren’t required to conform to vaccination requirements. Killeen says vaccination guidelines for faculty and staff are still being developed.
Other major Illinois universities, including the University of Chicago, DePaul and Northwestern are requiring their students to be vaccinated before they return to class.
Other Illinois public universities have yet to announce whether COVID-19 vaccination will be mandated this fall. Illinois State University has announced it won’t require students get shots.