All Students Required to get COVID-19 Vaccine for Fall of 2021

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All students are required to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to attend DePauw University in the fall, according to an email sent to the student body on Friday, June 4.

“We believe that widespread COVID-19 vaccination will lead to a more robust, vibrant and safe DePauw,” Stevie Baker-Watson, Associate Vice President for Campus Wellness, says in the email. 

The DePauw Health and Wellness Center will allow medical and religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Exempted students will be required to participate in monthly asymptomatic testing and quarantined upon close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19, according to the accommodation form

81 percent of nearly 200 respondents agree with DePauw’s decision to require the COVID-19 vaccine for fall semester, according to a poll conducted on The DePauw instagram story.

“I am hopeful for a real college experience with professors in classrooms,” says sophomore Lauren Paque. Other positive responses to the vaccine requirement include hopes of more in-person activities, a sense of safety, and decreased COVID-19 restrictions. 

Although The DePauw’s instagram poll yielded a primarily positive response toward the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, 19 percent of respondents disagree with the university’s decision. 

“While I support the vaccine and am vaccinated myself, people have the right to not want a vaccine. Even though I don’t really agree with them, it is still their choice,” says sophomore Drew Cosgray. 

Other responses express concern about the pending FDA approval of the vaccine, and argue that they should not be required to receive the vaccination prior to this process. 

“While everyone is getting it and they (the FDA) recommended it, I just want to wait until it is approved because I am younger and do not know the lifelong effects if there are any,” says sophomore Sarah Podzielinski. 

Returning students must provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination through a google form by August 1. First years and transfers should provide this information through their Med+Proctor portal. 

As of Monday, June 14, 894 of 1241 students have completed their vaccination series and accompanying documentation, according to the COVID-19 Dashboard