U of M to require COVID-19 vaccine for students upon FDA approval

(KSTP) – Students across the University of Minnesota System will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it is fully approved by federal regulators, the university announced Monday.

The update is a reversal of the system’s previous decision not to require vaccines. The U of M said last week it would require masks for everyone inside buildings on campus and in outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible.

Once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives full approval for the COVID-19 vaccine — a step White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said could come in a matter of weeks — the shot will be added to the list of required immunizations for all students. Currently, the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines all have emergency use approval from the FDA.

Monday’s announcement comes amid pressure from faculty to issue a vaccine mandate and as other private colleges around the state move to require the vaccine for students.

Faculty and staff will either have to confirm they are vaccinated or undergo regular testing if they are unvaccinated; they will not be required to get the shot. Anyone who is exposed to the virus or tests positive will have to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for isolating and contact tracing.