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Breaking: College to require COVID-19 vaccination for enrollment next year


Grinnell College will require students enrolled in the 2021-22 academic year to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the school announced in an all-campus email on April 14.

This news comes after the College announced that students will return to in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year. With this announcement, the College joins a growing list of institutions who will be requiring vaccinations in the fall.

“The efficacy of vaccines, as well as expanded vaccine eligibility and availability, allows us to address the higher risk of transmission in a communal living environment and affirms this additional step to protect the health of our community,” the email said.

Students who are unable to acquire a vaccine in their home state or country will be provided with a vaccine upon arrival to campus in the fall by Student Health and Wellness (SHAW).

Additionally, students with religious or medical concerns may request to be exempt from the vaccine requirement. Like with all vaccine requirements at the College, SHAW will consider exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

Dean of Students Elaine Marzluff said that the administration has known vaccination requirement was an option for several months, but the pandemic planning team needed to be certain that students would reasonably be able to acquire vaccines for themselves and that the College would be able to supply enough vaccines for students who were unable to by the time the school year began. Only recently did it become clear that vaccines were widely available enough for this requirement to be put in place. The College held its own vaccine clinics earlier this month.

Joseph Bagnoli, vice president of enrollment and dean of admission, added that with two weeks left for prospective students to confirm enrollment at the College, the announcement brings a degree of insight for them in deciding whether or not to attend.

“This can go a long way toward reassuring someone who’s thinking about joining the community for the first time, that this is a place taking its role in public health seriously,” said Bagnoli.

All students will be required to have medical proof of vaccination prior to enrollment. This proof of vaccination would be distinct from so-called “vaccine passports,” which are documents that a vaccinated individual would be required to carry on-hand with them in order to enter some venues. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has stated that she plans to take legislative or executive action against vaccine passports in Iowa due to privacy concerns.

“As we have since the pandemic began, we continue to approach every decision using a community and public health framework that prioritizes the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community. We look forward to welcoming all students back to campus and to a return to living and learning in community,” the College’s email ended.

More information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations can be found at through the CDC and Grinnell Vaccination page.

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Nina Baker, News Editor
Nina is a third-year Russian major with a Russian, Central European and Eurasian Studies concentration from Lakeville, Minnesota. She regrets not earning a Linguistics concentration.
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