Stanford to require COVID-19 vaccination in fall

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Stanford will require all undergraduate, graduate and professional students coming to campus this fall to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to a Thursday email from Provost Persis Drell.

The requirement comes as the availability of vaccines increases nationwide and a growing number of peer institutions — including Columbia, Yale, Brown, Princeton and Cornell — release their own plans to require the shot for their students’ return in the fall. The University of California has a similar proposal pending. 

“I would consider a vaccine mandate to be a reasonable step for Stanford to take, assuming sufficient vaccine is available,” said medicine professor Stephen Luby prior to the announcement. 

Students will be able to request exceptions to the requirement for medical or religious reasons, provided they are tested for COVID-19 regularly and meet potential “other” requirements, Drell wrote in the email.

Drell added that the University is continuing to evaluate whether there will be a requirement for faculty and staff members to be vaccinated and expects to provide updates soon.

UCSF epidemiology professor George Rutherford ‘75 also said he would be supportive of a vaccine mandate prior to the announcement and that “there may need to be a provision for students coming from overseas who have not yet had a chance to be vaccinated yet.” 

In the email, Drell wrote that Stanford “will work to help arriving students obtain a vaccination if they have been unable to obtain one at their home location.”

“We strongly encourage you to continue following the health protocols,” Drell wrote, “including physical distancing and wearing of face coverings, that have enabled us to proceed with optimism and excitement for the fall quarter.” 

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Sam Catania ’24 is a Staff Writer at The Daily. He is a Philadelphia native currently studying computer science and political science. Contact him at scatania 'at' stanforddaily.com
Victoria Hsieh '24 is a Staff Writer for The Daily looking to major in Economics and Biology. She is a Seattle native and enjoys hiking in her free time. Contact The Daily’s News section at news ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.