SEATTLE - The University of Washington is requiring all employees to have the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to school in the fall semester.
In May, UW also announced that all students would be required to be vaccinated before fall classes begin.
The announcement comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Washington state health officials have loosened mask restrictions in certain places.
Vaccinations are provided free of charge to individuals at UW Medicine, including at the UW Medical Center-Montlake on the Seattle campus, as well as at clinics and pharmacies in other locations.
Faculty and staff will need to confirm they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 by the fall quarter in order to work on the UW’s campuses or within its facilities. Similar to the student requirement, employees will be allowed to seek exemptions for medical, religious or philosophical reasons.
Eastern Washington University officials have also decided that students and staff must get a COVID-19 vaccine to be on campus. That’s a reversal of a decision last month to not require vaccination.
Interim Eastern Washington President David May announced the new decision on Thursday. The Cheney, Washington, campus is scheduled to reopen on July 1.
Last month, May announced that there would be vaccine incentives to encourage students and faculty to get a shot. The incentives included free tuition for a year, gift cards, passes for football games and more.
Next Wednesday, the university will host another walk-in clinic offering the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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