Which universities in Michigan require a COVID-19 vaccine?

In just a few weeks, college students will head to campus for another year of education under the COVID-19 pandemic. The difference this fall is that there is a vaccine that prevents the most serious illnesses. In Michigan, multiple universities are requiring a COVID-19 vaccine to return to in-person learning.

As colleges return for the fall semester, the decision-makers must decide what is best for the campus population: to require a vaccine (and proof) or just encourage it among students, faculty, and staff.

As of August 3, 2021, just a few weeks before school is to begin, 8 schools in Michigan have announced they will require vaccines in some ways.

University of Michigan

Vaccines will be required at the school's Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn campuses for anyone on campus. That includes residential students, off-campus students, and all employees. 

Anyone that plans to be on the campus at that time will be required to submit their vaccine information before the beginning of classes.

"Widespread vaccination is the primary and most effective tool that will bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control and it is the key to a vibrant and engaging academic year," officials wrote in an email, which was signed by President Mark Schlissel, the executive vice president of academic affairs, the executive vice president of medical affairs, the interim chief financial officer, and chancellors of Flint and Dearborn's campuses.

Any non-compliant students, faculty, or staff will be disciplined.

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Michigan State University

The same day that UM announced its vaccination policy, MSU came out with a similar policy that all students, faculty, and staff will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Aug. 31 to be on campus.

Additionally, masks will be required in all university buildings, both in East Lansing and around the state, beginning Sunday. The mask mandate will be in effect for at least the first few weeks of the fall semester, according to the university.

The school said there will be limited exemptions to the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons.

Wayne State University

The state's third-largest university announced its plan on Tuesday to require everyone on campus to have the COVID-19 vaccine this fall.

Wayne State said all students, faculty, and staff who plan to be on campus must submit proof of vaccination before Aug. 30.

The university originally said it wasn't requiring the vaccine for all students but that it was monitoring the situation as the number of delta variant cases rose.

Similar to MSU, there will be limited exceptions for health and religious reasons. Those can be reviewed by the Campus Health Committee. Those who have an approved waiver will be required to be tested for COVID-19 once per week.

WSU recently announced an initiative for students, staff, and faculty to enter a drawing to win laptops, gift cards, a semester's worth of classes, and more.

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Oakland University

According to Oakland University's website, the school is only requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students who live on campus in residence halls, apartments and cottages. Those residents must be vaccinated two weeks before move-in day on Friday, Aug. 27.

Verification for residential students must be submitted prior to moving in.

The university offers exemptions for religious and medical reasons.

Off-campus students and employees are not required to be vaccinated, as of Aug. 3.

Lawrence Tech

The university in Southfield is requiring all students living in university housing to be vaccinated and prove their status.

Vaccine exemptions were available but had to be submitted by mid-July.

Off-campus students and employees are not required to be vaccinated, as of Aug. 3.

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University of Detroit Mercy

Detroit Mercy is requiring all students, staff, and faculty to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 16, 2021 to return to campus. Proof of vaccination must be submitted to the university prior to classes starting.

Detroit Mercy was one of the first in the state to have such requirements, issuing the mandate on June 10 for everyone.

The university said on July 23 that only a few hundred had provided their vaccination information and if the university didn't achieve a high enough rate, it would reinstate emergency mesaures in place and even place holds on accounts to prevent students from enrolling.

Albion College

The college in Albion is requiring all students, staff, and faculty to be fully vaccinated and provide proof by Aug. 1. Similar to other institutions, there would be waivers for medical or religious reasons. 

The school said it was required for everyone on campus and if proof of the vaccine was not provided, enrollment will not be allowed for students.

Kalamazoo College

All students are required to have the COVID-19 vaccine at Kalamazoo College. The school said it would allow vaccine exemptions but said they are "extremely rare" and would not be granted for "personal preference".

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The college plans to return to in-person lessons this fall and students should prepare to attend classes after having received the vaccine.

Central Michigan University

As of Aug. 3, Central Michigan University is not requiring the vaccine but is "strongly encouraging" everyone to get the vaccine.

The university reports that 34% of on-campus students, 60% of staff, and 71% of faculty are vaccinated.

The school calls those numbers promising but hopes to see them improve before the fall semester.

Masks will be required through at least the end of September.

Eastern Michigan University

EMU is urging everyone on campus to get the vaccine but stopped short of mandating it for everyone. Instead, EMU is only mandating the virus for students who are living on campus.

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