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Three universities in Nebraska requiring COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 2:51 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2021 at 4:22 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Doane University, Nebraska Wesleyan University and Creighton University will require students to get the COVID-19 vaccination before returning to class this fall.

Doane University President Dr. Roger Hughes said the decision was made to combat the highly contagious Delta variant.

“We recognize there are members of our family who take issue with the decision - we fully respect the various points of view. For those who are uncomfortable with getting vaccinated, we have structured selective exemptions and extensions.”

Students have the option to seek an exemption from the vaccination requirement due to medical or religious reasons. Requests will be reviewed by the university’s offices of student health and student experience.

Students who do request an exemption or extension will be required to receive routine COVID-19 testing, and participate in a 10-day quarantine per CDC guidelines if a test returns positive.

Employees will not be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The University reports 82 percent of employees have received the vaccine.

Classes on the Crete campus begin August 16. According to Doane University’s vaccine FAQ page, students will need to get their second dose of the vaccine by Sept. 9.

Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln is requiring students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by August 15. Similar to Doane, students have the option to seek an exemption due to medical or religious reasons. Students can seek an extension due to inability to access the vaccine, or for a temporary medical circumstance that requires a delay in vaccinating, or students can seek an extension to delay the COVID vaccination until it receives full approval from the FDA.

“Our highest priority is returning safely a fully in-person campus experience in our curriculum and co-curriculum: full-capacity classrooms, in-person meetings and office hours, active student organizations, hands-on experiential learning and project-based learning, close collaboration among students and between students and faculty members, full athletic and performing arts seasons with spectators, and vibrant communities in our residence halls and Greek chapter houses. As we worked on re-opening logistics, it became clear that ensuring consistent vaccination within our community was the only way to do all those activities unmasked and with confidence about the safety of our community members.”

Nebraska Wesleyan University website

Creighton University is requiring all students on its Omaha and Phoenix campuses to be fully vaccinated in order to return to campus. Faculty and staff are only ‘strongly encouraged’ to be vaccinated.

Students at Creighton also have the option to request a medical exemption or exemption due to the Emergency Use Authorization status of the vaccines. However, students who decline the COVID-19 vaccine due to EUA status will be required to be vaccinated once the vaccines are granted full approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

“Our staff and faculty vaccination rate is 99%, and so far, our vaccination rate for incoming students is 95%. That is truly fantastic and really a testament to Creighton University’s entire community.”

Creighton University