Michigan State University | Susan J. Demas
Updated, 4:51 p.m., 12/17/21, 7:38 a.m., 12/18/21, with U of M and Wayne State announcements
Michigan’s largest state university announced Friday that all students, faculty and staff are to receive a COVID-19 booster, beginning with the spring 2022 semester.
In an email Friday morning, Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley said this will “allow for continued in-person learning and experiences.”
“The high vaccination rate among our students, faculty and staff has been an essential component to what has been a successful fall semester. Combined with our face covering requirement, this has created a safer community for our students, faculty and staff to live, work and learn with fewer cases than the communities around us,” Stanley said.
“All members of our campus community who were fully vaccinated either with a two-dose regimen more than six months ago or a one-dose regimen more than two months ago are now eligible for a booster and should immediately receive one,” Stanley said. “Those individuals who are still within the six- or two-month windows (depending on vaccine type) should make plans to receive a booster as soon as they are eligible. Those who fail to receive a booster when eligible will be considered noncompliant with MSU’s vaccine directives.”
A few hours later, the University of Michigan announced it also would be requiring boosters for faculty, staff and students for the next term. And Wayne State University made the same call later on Friday.
“The existing mitigation strategies have allowed our campuses to have a successful in-person fall experience, which has benefited our entire community in so many ways despite the ongoing pandemic,” said Robert Ernst, associate vice president for student life and director of the Campus Health Response Committee.
“From the high vaccination rate and required weekly testing for those who are not fully vaccinated, layered on top of indoor masking, prompt case investigation and contact tracing and our wastewater surveillance program, we’ve maintained an environment on campus that has allowed our community to return to many of the pre-pandemic experiences that were missed in 2020. We continue to take additional precautions to help keep our community safe, healthy and together.”
U of M said its Ann Arbor campus will continue with in-person activities through the final days of the fall 2021 term, including hosting an in-person commencement on Sunday. In-person classes for the next term are scheduled to resume Jan. 5.
MSU and U of M are part of a group of several colleges in Michigan with a vaccine requirement. However, MSU has been criticized for not requiring proof a vaccine card but only having students fill out a form.
MSU said students, faculty and staff who already have religious or medical exemptions will remain exempt from the booster requirement. Students who are online-only may also request an exemption. The university said it will be updating the vaccine verification form to allow individuals to record their boosters.
The email said vaccine booster sites can be obtained on the Together We Will website.
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