Notre Dame to require COVID-19 vaccination for fall 2021 enrollment

SOUTH BEND — The University of Notre Dame will require all students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 beginning next school year.

Notre Dame officials announced the requirement as a new condition for 2021-22 enrollment in an email to the campus community Wednesday.

The university will allow for medical and religious exemptions, the officials’ letter states. The requirement extends to all who enroll for the 2021-22 academic year, including undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

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Notre Dame officials will provide a way for students unable to be vaccinated by the beginning of the fall semester to receive their required doses, according to the letter.

The university will work with international students who may have already received other types of vaccines that have not received approval in Indiana, university spokesman Dennis Brown said.

Other universities like Brown, Cornell and Rutgers have shared plans for similar vaccine requirements.

Notre Dame announced last month it would receive enough supply for all current students to receive two doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine by the end of the spring semester.

An on-campus vaccination clinic opens Thursday for students’ first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. That clinic runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through April 15. Second doses will be administered between April 29 and May 6.

Both clinics will be at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

University officials announced earlier this week that they would consider lifting some health and safety restrictions before the end of the year if 90% of students received their vaccinations.

Students are encouraged to report their vaccination status through an online tool available on the university’s coronavirus website, here.nd.edu.

“For students currently on campus, if you have not yet been vaccinated, we strongly urge you to be vaccinated at our on-campus site in the days and weeks ahead,” Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins wrote. “Our goal for the fall semester will be to have as many members of the campus community vaccinated as possible, thereby reducing the risk of infection on campus and in the local community.”

Verifying students’ compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination policy will be similar to other vaccinations required among enrolled students.

Notre Dame also requires immunizations for hepatitis B, meningitis, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and chicken pox, according to a university news release. The flu vaccine was also required last fall.

“The safety of the university and local communities is always our highest priority,” President Rev. John Jenkins said in the news release. “Requiring students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 is a new and important addition to our health policies, one that we believe will enhance public health at Notre Dame and in our community, while also contributing to our ability to return to a more vibrant campus environment.”