ACE Issue Brief Suggests Framework for Campus Vaccination Requirement Questions
April 05, 2021

​When Rutgers University announced March 25 that it would require students who are enrolling for the 2021 fall semester to show they've received a COVID-19 vaccine, news reports stated that Rutgers might be the first college or university in the country to take this step.

“From the onset of the pandemic, the safety of the broader Rutgers community has been our shared responsibility. This has never been more true,” said Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and other campus leaders in a statement. “The importance of an effective vaccination program to make our community safer for all cannot be overstated.”

But Rutgers is hardly alone in weighing vaccination rules for students. A new ACE issue brief, “Requiring (or Urging) COVID-19 Vaccinations at Colleges and Universities for Fall 2021,” lays out various sides of the fast-evolving issue and explores why different institutions may reach different conclusions about a path forward.

This issue brief suggests a framework for thinking about some of the questions surrounding student COVID 19 vaccinations. It is offered as government officials, the medical and research communities, and the media provide still-evolving information about the state of the pandemic and the vaccines available. Its intent is not to suggest or provide answers, particularly in light of the progressing context.

The brief looks at issues such as whether institutions can require students to be vaccinated with one of the three COVID-19 vaccines so far approved in the United States under emergency use authorization, and some of the questions involved in making the decision to do so.

The issue brief was prepared by ACE Vice President and General Counsel Peter McDonough and Emma Hart, an ACE Government Relations intern who attends Oberlin College.​

​Requiring (or Urging) COVID-19 Vaccinations at Colleges and Universities for Fall 2021

Download the ISSUE BRIEF

​COVID-19 Policy Developments

Learn more about the higher education association effort to urge Congress and the administration to craft a comprehensive response that addresses the challenges students and campuses are facing.

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