University of Virginia Disenrolls 238 Unvaccinated Students Ahead Of Fall Semester

University of Virginia Disenrolls 238 Unvaccinated Students Ahead Of Fall Semester

All students who live, learn, or work in person at the university are to be fully vaccinated for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year.

A University spokesman has stated that The University of Virginia has disenrolled 238 students for its fall semester on Friday for not complying with the university's Covid-19 vaccine mandate. "All students who live, learn, or work in person at the university" are required to be fully vaccinated for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year, according to current university Covid-19 policies, reports CNN. Only 49 out of the 238 incoming Fall semester students were actually enrolled in classes, and the remaining 189 "may not have been planning to return to the university this fall at all," UVA spokesperson Brian Coy told the outlet.



If students are disenrolled, they are "not eligible to take courses," Coy explained. Students who were enrolled at the university on Wednesday still have a week to update their status at which point they can re-enroll, he added. UVA first announced its vaccine mandate in May and the policy has been effective so far. About 96.6% of UVA's student body is vaccinated, per Coy. Around 1% of students are currently unvaccinated while about 1.3 percent were allowed to claim religious or medical exemptions, Coy said. "If you're unvaccinated, we ask that you wear a mask at all times -- indoors or outdoors -- whenever you're around people," said Coy. "Anyone unvaccinated and has an exemption will have to test once a week, we're starting once a week: That might go up."



Unvaccinated students without exemptions were repeatedly reminded to get vaccinated between May 20 and July 1 to avoid disenrollment, Coy said. "Students out of compliance received multiple emails, calls, text messages and -- in some cases -- calls to their parents. Our numbers show that our students responded to this. This means we can have the kind of in-person semester where people can engage in normal ways." Students can also opt to return to campus in the spring, but only after meeting the vaccination requirement. UVA, which is located in Charlottesville, Virginia, has an undergraduate population of about 18,000, plus 9,000 graduate students. U.S. News & World Report reported that over 680 colleges and universities were preparing to require their students to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This is a measure taken in the hopes of getting back to experiences like in-person lectures, study groups in the library, social gatherings, and sports events. "If you can ensure a highly vaccinated community, you can get back to a lot of those things safely," says Dr. Preeti Malani, a professor and chief health officer at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor.



Vaccines play the most important part in the university’s reopening strategy, Jim Ryan, the university’s president, said at a town hall this month, according to the Washington Post. “We are in a much better and much different position than we were last year, primarily because of the vaccines and the extraordinarily high vaccination rate in our community,” Ryan said. “This means we can return in person to classes, activities, sporting events, and research labs as we have been planning to do in the fall semester, with the residential experiences that are at the heart of this university.” Vaccines remain one of the best defenses against the virus, Costi Sifri, director of hospital epidemiology at U-Va. added. “They prevent infection and they are very effective in preventing hospitalization and other serious outcomes,” Sifri said. “It remains the case that people who are vaccinated are much safer from infection than unvaccinated people.”



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