The University of Minnesota recently announced they'd require facial coverings indoors at all campuses, including UMD, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. On Monday they made a decision regarding vaccines.

On Monday, August 9, University of Minnesota President Joan T.A. Gabel announced that all University of Minnesota students would be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend classes.

This is based on the assumption that the FDA will formally approve of a COVID-19 vaccine within the coming weeks.

Her message to the students stated in part:

Upon formal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of any COVID-19 vaccine (anticipated in the coming weeks), the University will add the COVID-19 vaccine to those immunizations already required for students, with appropriate exemptions. With the comfort associated with FDA approval, we will join a growing list of public colleges and universities across the country that are taking a similar approach.

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Gabel add that universities that are taking similar steps include but or not limited to, Michigan State University, Purdue University, the University of Florida, and many of the nation’s leading private colleges, including many in Minnesota.

As an exact date of when the FDA will approve a vaccine has not yet been indicated, there are obviously a lot of lingering questions regarding the timing of when a vaccine must be received by, if there is any formal grace period and how students are to report vaccinations. This information will be announced as soon as possible.

Another important bit of information that hasn't been announced is what the consequences will be for non-compliance, but President Gabel says that information is "forthcoming".

There is also vaccination guidance for faculty and staff, which you can read in her full message below.

In the meantime, the facial covering mandate will remain and the recommendation from the University of Minnesota is for all students and staff is to get the COVID-19 vaccination right away. There is still a $100 incentive offered by the State of Minnesota that everyone can take advantage of.

Once the FDA formally approves a COVID-19 vaccine, I have a feeling these types of requirements will be hot topics, but they will also be common. Prior to the current pandemic, every parent got a list every year of required vaccinations their kids were required to receive and this will just be another one to check off the list.

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