BREAKING: UVM announces COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all Fall 2021 students


Elaina Sepede

A Walgreens employee fills a syringe with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the Patrick Gym May 2.

UVM students will now be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the Fall 2021 semester as soon as the vaccine receives full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. 

In a June 9, press release UVM announced its new COVID-19 vaccine requirement for UVM students. However, the new policy does not require faculty or staff to be vaccinated.

The university will continue to encourage faculty and staff members to get vaccinated,” the email stated.

The vaccine requirement will include all full and part-time Fall 2021 UVM students including undergraduate, graduate, medical and continuing distance education students, according to the press release.

“Once the current Emergency Use Authorization is lifted for any of the vaccines, and full FDA approval is granted, students will be required to have proof of their vaccination,” the email stated.

The press release lists a series of reasons why UVM has decided to require the vaccine including information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. 

“Guidance from the [CDC] emphasizes that vaccinations against the coronavirus are safe and effective (90-95% effective in “real world” studies) and protective against current variants. Vaccines are now widely available,” the email stated.

The email also stated people who are fully vaccinated are less likely to transmit infection to others and that this decision aligns with national efforts to protect students from contracting diseases.

This public health approach is consistent with longstanding efforts across the United States to protect students of all ages from a wide range of serious and contagious diseases,” the email stated.

As winter approaches during the tail end of the fall semester, UVM states this step, along with making the flu vaccine widely available and providing ongoing education about staying healthy will help prevent illness.

A fully vaccinated student population on our campus is the best way to protect the health of students, employees and the broader Burlington community against COVID-19 infection,” the email stated.

For information on how to receive a COVID-19 vaccine go to the Vermont Department of Health website.