Stanford to require COVID-19 vaccination in fall

April 22, 2021, 12:59 p.m.

Stanford will require all undergraduate, graduate and professional students coming to campus this fall to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to a Thursday email from Provost Persis Drell.

The requirement comes as the availability of vaccines increases nationwide and a growing number of peer institutions — including Columbia, Yale, Brown, Princeton and Cornell — release their own plans to require the shot for their students’ return in the fall. The University of California has a similar proposal pending. 

“I would consider a vaccine mandate to be a reasonable step for Stanford to take, assuming sufficient vaccine is available,” said medicine professor Stephen Luby prior to the announcement. 

Students will be able to request exceptions to the requirement for medical or religious reasons, provided they are tested for COVID-19 regularly and meet potential “other” requirements, Drell wrote in the email.

Drell added that the University is continuing to evaluate whether there will be a requirement for faculty and staff members to be vaccinated and expects to provide updates soon.

UCSF epidemiology professor George Rutherford ‘75 also said he would be supportive of a vaccine mandate prior to the announcement and that “there may need to be a provision for students coming from overseas who have not yet had a chance to be vaccinated yet.” 

In the email, Drell wrote that Stanford “will work to help arriving students obtain a vaccination if they have been unable to obtain one at their home location.”

“We strongly encourage you to continue following the health protocols,” Drell wrote, “including physical distancing and wearing of face coverings, that have enabled us to proceed with optimism and excitement for the fall quarter.” 

Sam Catania ’24 is the Volume 262 Editor in Chief of The Daily. Previously, he was Chief Technology Officer, the producer of the weekly video roundup, a news beat reporter covering COVID-19 on Stanford's campus and the assessment team leader of The Daily's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team. Sam hails from Philadelphia and is studying Symbolic Systems. You can follow him on Twitter @sbcatania. Contact him at scatania 'at' stanforddaily.comVictoria Hsieh '24 is a Desk Editor for the Business and Technology Desk looking to major in Computer Science and minor in Political Science. She is from Seattle and thereby a caffeine and hiking fanatic. Contact The Daily’s News section at news ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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