University of Washington to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students before fall semester

University of Washington (UW) Husky Marching Band
Image Credit: University of Washington

The University of Washington, the state’s largest university, has joined at least three other Washington colleges in requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students before the start of school this fall.

University of Washington officials said they haven’t decided yet whether faculty and staff will also have to be vaccinated.

“Widespread vaccination is the only real way we can put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us and return to a more normal way of living, learning and working,” UW President Ana Mari Cauce wrote in a message to students and staff. “Our community is one that cares — about each other and about the state and society we serve. For your health, and for the health of us all, please get vaccinated as soon as you can.”

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There are still six weeks left in the spring quarter, which gives unvaccinated students who are in the area time to get a vaccine before the summer begins, school officials said.

The vaccination requirements extend to all three University of Washington campuses.

Vaccinations are free at UW Medicine hospitals — including at the UW Medical Center – Montlake on the Seattle campus — as well as at mass vaccination sites in Seattle and in Pierce and Snohomish counties. The mass vaccination sites at Lumen Field in Seattle and the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma are allowing walk-in vaccinations with no appointment needed.

Students will need to verify they have been vaccinated before the start of the fall quarter unless they are claiming a medical, religious or philosophical exemption.

If students aren’t able to get vaccinated where they currently live, the university will provide vaccinations to students once they arrive on campus. More details will be released in early summer.

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At least three other colleges in Washington — Washington State University, Pacific Lutheran University and Seattle University — will require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations before the fall semester. At WSU, faculty and staff are included in the requirements.

The state’s largest university, the University of Washington, told Q13 News that they are not yet requiring vaccines but will issue more guidance by the end of May.

Western Washington University in Bellingham said they are not requiring vaccines at this time.

“We continue to study the issue and are closely monitoring emerging research and information about the vaccine rollout,” university officials said.

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