Carnegie-Mellon University has joined a growing list of colleges and universities that require students taking personal courses this fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Pittsburgh University joins Dickinson University, Muhlenberg College, and the University of Pennsylvania as Pennsylvania Schools, which announced in recent weeks that students must get the vaccine in time for the fall semester.
More than 340 colleges and universities across the country have said they will need vaccines for at least some students or employees, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
New York State announced Monday that the vaccine will be mandatory for students attending on-campus courses at its public colleges and universities pending full approval for COVID-19 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vaccines granted.
Meanwhile, governors in other states, including Utah, Texas, Florida, and Montana, have signed orders banning higher education institutions from giving students the vaccine.
In Pennsylvania, the Wolf Administration strongly encourages college and university students in Pennsylvania to receive the vaccine and said it will work with schools to vaccinate students.
However, it is not mandatory.
“With the COVID-19 vaccine, post-secondary institutions can enable more personal learning and improve the safety of our campus communities for our students, faculties and staff,” said incumbent Education Minister Noe Ortega last month.
On site, Waynesburg University does not plan to require students to be vaccinated on campus in the fall, but strongly recommends students and staff get vaccinated.
Washington & Jefferson College has not yet made a decision on COVID-19 vaccine requirements, but expects to do so in the coming weeks.
California University of Pennsylvania is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, where PASSHE’s PR director David Pidgeon said universities in Pennsylvania do not have the legal authority to mandate students and staff to obtain the COVID vaccine as there are no specific laws that provide this permission.
In a message posted on its website, the CMU said, “Consistent with scientific evidence of the importance of vaccine introduction in combating the spread of the virus, Carnegie Mellon University will, to the extent permitted by law, require that all enrolled students be vaccinated against COVID. 19, valid from the autumn semester. “
Students must provide documentation of their vaccination before school starts.
Under federal and state law, the CMU will consider medical or religious exemptions from all vaccine requirements for faculty and staff.
The CMU is also considering requiring its faculty and staff in Pittsburgh to be vaccinated.
College and universities have different vaccination requirements for diseases such as tetanus, whooping cough, and polio. In most cases, these institutions allow exceptions for medical or religious reasons.
In addition to the political climate that has made COVID-19 a partisan issue, part of the debate about whether or not schools can prescribe the vaccine is that the three available COVID-19 vaccines should be made in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug approved are emergency administrative approval that allows them to be distributed prior to formal approval.
Full FDA approval is expected before the start of the 2021-22 school year, but the timeline for this final approval is not clear.