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Two Midwest Colleges plan to not require student vaccination for Fall semester

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 8:08 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As some schools across the nation decided to require students to be vaccinated to attend in-person classes; Augustana University and the University of Nebraska plan the opposite.

Rutgers, Cornell, and Brown University are just some of the schools that will require their students to have received a COVID-19 vaccination. Rutgers participates in the same conference as Nebraska, the Big 10.

“We certainly understand the situation that Rutger’s finds themselves in, but Nebraska is not New Jersey,” Deb Fiddelke said, the chief communication and marketing officer at UNL.

Both schools still believe vaccination is important.

“We’ve taken a stance that at any point we could get anyone from our campus community involved and get the vaccine, we’ve got to provide that opportunity for them as quickly as possible,” said Suzie O’Meara Hernes, the COVID Response Coordinator at Augustana University.

“We are highly recommending and highly encouraging our students to come vaccinated,” Fiddelke said.

Roughly 36% of students and staff at Augustana are vaccinated.

“Now that this week opens up and we have the opportunity for everyone 16 plus to be vaccinated, we’re really seeing our numbers going up,” O’Meara Hernes said.

The state of Nebraska hopes to soon open up vaccine eligibility to everyone 18 and older, which would allow the University of Nebraska to host a vaccine clinic for their students.

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