by Guy Page
The University of Vermont this fall will require vaccination of all students – but not faculty and staff – because students live in closer quarters and belong to an age group with lower vaccination rates, University of Vermont spokesperson Enrique Corredera told Vermont Daily today.
Last week, the Burlington-based state university announced all students will be required to be vaccinated for the fall semester, pending FDA final approval of at least one vaccine. However, faculty and staff – despite being more susceptible to Covid as an age group – will not need to be vaccinated.
Corredera explained UVM’s rationale for the distinction.
“Students on a college campus form a different population with unique characteristics,” Corredera said. “They come from states all over the country with a wide range of vaccination rates; They spend most of their time on campus living in close quarters; and statistically we have seen that vaccination rates in this age group have been significantly lower than in older populations. We are of course encouraging faculty and staff members to get vaccinated.”
The Vermont State College system has not yet announced its fall vaccination policy. Norwich, Middlebury, Champlain, St. Michaels, and Bennington colleges all will require at least student vaccination for fall enrollment.
Gov. Scott has said previously he doesn’t “see a way forward” for required vaccination for K-12 public school students. At today’s announcement of the ending of the March 2020 State of Emergency, Scott made clear that businesses and other institutions may, if they wish, require staff and customers to wear masks and socially-distance. It is not clear if that policy also applies to state-funded public schools.