A COVID-19 vaccine mandate remains for all students and staff at Rutgers University. Anyone working or attending the university on September 6th must show proof of having received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot, or face the risk of getting disenrolled.
There are exceptions for religious or medical reasons and would be made on a case-by-case basis. Those with an exemption may still not be able to live in on-campus accommodation.
According to the Rutgers website, the mandate is: “To minimize outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Rutgers University community; to prevent and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among all persons at Rutgers University and Rutgers– affiliated healthcare units; and to promote the public health of the community in a manner consistent with federal, State, and local efforts to stem the COVID-19 pandemic as well as federal and State law.”
According to the No College Mandates lobby group that tracks higher education COVID-19 policies, Rutgers is one of about 100 universities and colleges in the country to still have a COVID vaccine mandate.
The decision to keep the mandate was criticized by Senator Declan O’Scanlon who said it is “out of step with science and logic.”
“It’s baffling to see that from what should be a leading voice of science-based rationality, comes arbitrary garbage,” said O’Scanlon (R-13).
In May, Rutgers dropped its requirement for coronavirus booster shots for most students — unless the student or staff member works or studies in a clinical setting or works with patients. O’Scanlon was quick to point out the change.
“Further highlighting this absurdity and inconsistency is that Rutgers is mandating the primary vaccine series but not mandating boosters. It’s a ludicrous policy; any benefit there might have been from the initial vaccine has long since waned in the face of continuously evolving strains,” he argued.
“Rutgers students who don’t want to get the vaccine for whatever reason should be allowed to not get the vaccine and still attend college– that should absolutely be no business of irrational Rutgers administrators,” O’Scanlon concluded.
Across New Jersey, nearly all school districts have dropped all indoor mask requirements. For students entering grades K-12, while a number of immunizations are required to attend class including for polio, MMR, and DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis), the COVID-19 vaccine is not on the list.