Christian Brothers University requiring COVID-19 vaccine ahead of fall semester

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Students and staff who plan to be on the Christian Brothers University campus will need to provide proof of vaccination before the fall semester begins.

CBU President Jack Shannon says this requirement is about following the science. Roughly 2,300 people, both students and staff, will be affected.

Shannon said when they started seeing vaccines would be more readily available that’s when discussions started with trustees. 

Shannon says they looked at public health data and the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine and decided that mandating the shot was what they believe would be best for their community. 

“Well first of all, I start with the science and what we’re seeing is that the vaccine protects not only the individual receiving it but also their families, their neighbors and others with whom they come into contact,” said Shannon.

Shannon pointed to states in the Mid-South that are lagging when it comes to hitting the goal of having 70% of the population vaccinated.

As well as the rise of the delta variant, a variant of the virus health officials say is starting to spread rapidly among the unvaccinated.

CBU’s announcement follows other universities in the Volunteer State.

Last month, Vanderbilt said returning and transfer students need to be fully vaccinated. 

Rhodes College announced a “health and safety fee” as the college is charging unvaccinated students $1,500 per semester starting this fall. The college says the fee is meant to cover the cost of weekly COVID testing unvaccinated students will have to undergo.

At this time, University of Memphis and UTHSC say they have no plans to issue similar mandates.

There will be no fines CBU, and the university will help people with access if needed. 

Requests to be exempt for medical or religious reasons are being accepted.

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