UNC System isn’t planning on mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for students

North Carolina news

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — More higher education institutions recently mandated students to get COVID-19 vaccinations to keep school communities safe this fall. 

Duke University announced students will need to show proof of vaccinations and other immunizations before they can start classes on campus starting this fall. However, not all North Carolina schools feel the same. 

The UNC System, which controls 16 North Carolina public universities, is not requiring vaccines, stating there is no specific public health guidance on vaccine requirements. Leaders said they do not believe as a state entity they have the legal authority to require such vaccines. Mandating vaccinations could mean a faster return to usual campus activities but there are other concerns. 

For example, leaders say there are worries that enrollment will decrease if vaccines are required or that it would add to vaccine hesitancy. While system leaders are relying on direction from federal and state public health officials, they share a message to students and faculty. 

“There is strong encouragement to get students and everyone else vaccinated as quickly as possible and certainly many resources are being directed towards that purpose,” said Mimi Chapman, the Chair of the UNC Faculty Council.

UNC System leaders say campus clinics have administered more than 72,000 vaccinations and they will continue to do so. 

The faculty executive committee meets regularly during the summer months and say they will be tracking this issue closely. As new guidance comes out this conversation might change. 

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