VCU, VSU announce COVID vaccine booster requirements for spring semester
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As COVID-19 cases climb around the country and in Virginia, universities are taking extra precautions as students plan their return to campus for the spring semester.
On Wednesday, Virginia Commonwealth University announced it requires a COVID-19 vaccine booster for the spring semester.
VCU announced that it considers fully vaccinated individuals to have received an initial vaccination shot or shots and have the booster shot when eligible.
Everyone eligible for the booster shot now must report having it by Feb. 1. Those who do not qualify for the booster shot until after Feb. 1 must report getting the shot within 30 days of becoming eligible.
Officials said all of the VCU community must be fully vaccinated unless they have an approved religious or medical exemption.
VCU said it would send the campus community information on reporting the booster shot.
VCU’s announcement comes several hours after Virginia State University said they would require their students, staff and faculty to get a booster shot.
VSU’s requirement mirrors VCU’s current guidance, where students, staff and faculty will need to get their booster by February 1, if eligible.
Those who don’t qualify for the booster shot until after Feb. 1 must submit their proof within 30 days of their first day of eligibility.
Members of the Trojan community will have to take a COVID-19 test on arrival or before returning to campus.
VSU also said there would be opportunities for testing on campus at Whiting Hall beginning on Jan. 3 or at Daniel’s Gymnasium beginning Jan. 11.
VSU will also hold booster shot clinics from Jan. 11-16. During the week of Jan. 3, VSU said additional communication would be provided on how to register for a clinic.
Gwen Williams Dandridge, assistant vice president of communications for VSU, sent NBC12 the following statement:
“Virginia State University continues to monitor the trend in data regarding the spread of the new omicron COVID-19 variant. Currently, full vaccination combined with the booster is the most effective strategy available to reduce the spread of the virus. Our decision to require the COVID-19 booster shot and re-entry testing for our students and employees is based on scientific recommendations and on our priority of keeping our campus community healthy and safe. Our decision last semester to require full vaccination proved successful as we saw a less than one percent positivity rate throughout the semester. We hope and believe that incorporating a similar and more aggressive strategy in the upcoming spring semester will prove equally successful. We remain prepared to adjust as necessary.”
Less than a week ago, the University of Richmond announced they required all of their students to provide a negative COVID test before setting foot on their campus for the spring semester. The test may be conducted by either a medical professional or a take-home kit.
While all students must be COVID vaccinated to attend classes, a booster vaccine is not required. However, booster shots are highly recommended by the university.
For more information on COVID protocols for VCU during the spring semester, click here.
Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.
Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.