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U of M, MSU to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students, employees on all campuses

The University of Michigan students walk through the Diag in Ann Arbor.
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

Update: 07/30/2021 at 4:40 p.m.

Michigan State University will join the University of Michigan in requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students, staff and faculty on campus this fall.

President Samuel Stanley Jr. announced Friday that all students and employees must be fully vaccinated by August 31 if they plan to be on campus this fall. There are a few medical and religious exemptions. The announcement comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated masking and testing guidelines nationwide to combat the delta variant.

"Across the country and here in Michigan, we are seeing a rise in cases and are finding the delta variant is more contagious. The new CDC data suggests that even vaccinated individuals can in some cases spread the virus,"  Stanley said in a press release.

MSU's announcement came hours after the University of Michigan unveiled its own vaccine mandate for students, faculty, and staff on all three of its campuses. Michigan's two largest public universities join Wayne State University and Oakland University in requiring vaccines for students living on campus.

All individuals are also required to wear masks indoors beginning August 1 in all campus buildings and other MSU facilities in East Lansing and throughout the state. This requirement will be in place for at least the first weeks of the fall semester.

Original Post:

The University of Michigan announced Friday that all students, faculty, and staff across the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandate also applies to anyone working or learning remotely. It goes into effect August 30.

In a letter to the community, UM President Mark Schlissel cited the highly contagious delta variant, the possibility of breakthrough infections, and the inability to vaccinate children under 12 as reasons for instituting the requirement.

Currently, 81% of students have reported being vaccinated, as have 65% of Ann Arbor campus employees and 76% of Michigan Medicine employees.

Previously, the university had mandated that any student living on campus get vaccinated, although UM-Dearborn announced in April that on-campus students, faculty and staff must either provide documentation they have been vaccinated or evidence of a weekly negative PCR test.

In May, over 700 university instructors signed a petition requesting a vaccine mandate.

Over 600 colleges and universities have announced similar requirements. In Michigan, only Albion College has instituted such a broad COVID vaccine mandate for its campus. Other universities, including Oakland University, will require students living on campus to get the shot.

A number of Michigan hospitals, including Beaumont Health, Spectrum Health, and Ascension, have also issued vaccine mandates for employees. 

Editor's note: The University of Michigan holds Michigan Radio's license. 
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Paulette is a digital media reporter and producer for Michigan Public. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.
Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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