Washington State University to require COVID vaccinations for students, employees

Washington State University will require students and employees to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for the 2021-2022 school year, the school announced Wednesday. 

"WSU has an obligation to serve the public good and promote the health and safety of the communities it serves," the school said in a prepared statement. "The COVID‑19 vaccine, now widely available, has been shown to nearly eliminate the chances of death or serious illness related to a COVID‑19 infection, and is a critical element in protecting public health locally and worldwide."

Vaccine requirements for students

The state's second largest university will grant exceptions for medical, religious or personal reasons. Students will receive information in coming months on how to provide proof of vaccination and how to request an exemption. 

Students who attent online only classes will not need to show proof of a vaccine. 

In order to participate in any on‑site or in‑person courses and activities, students at all WSU locations will be expected to be vaccinated by the start of the fall semester.

Some programs may designate an earlier date for proof of vaccination or an exemption based on when fall semester in‑person activities begin.

All WSU Pullman students living in university-owned housing will need to provide proof of vaccination, or have an approved exemption, by Friday, August 6, 2021.

For students who have been granted exemptions, the university can modify housing assignments if necessary.

Beginning Monday, November 1, 2021, students not living in university housing or with program-specific requirements will be required to have documented proof of vaccine or an approved exemption.

Students who fail to meet this requirement will not be able to register for spring semester courses and could face other restrictions. Students with approved exemptions may be required to participate in regular COVID‑19 testing and/or other COVID‑19 public health measures.

RELATED: COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise in Washington, especially in young people

Vaccine requirements for employees

All employees and volunteers at WSU campuses will be required to show proof of vaccinations unless they are granted exemptions. Employees and volunteers will get more information in coming months. 

Other schools requiring vaccines

All other major schools in Washington — the University of Washington, Pacific Lutheran University, Western Washington University, Central Washington University and Seattle University — will require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations before the fall semester.

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