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(Losays/Flickr)

As access to the COVID vaccine widens, some colleges will mandate students to get vaccinated at the start of the fall semester, including Austin's own private institution, St. Edward's University.


St. Edward's is one of five universities in the U.S. that have announced a vaccine requirement, according to The Hill. The university announced last week that all employees and on-campus students 16 years or older will be required to get vaccinated by Sept. 1, after the start of fall classes on Aug. 23.

The other four universities requiring a vaccine this year include Cornell University, Rutgers University, Fort Lewis College and Nova Southeastern University.

Some universities are taking a different route, with looser requirements like a mask mandate; for others, showing proof of a vaccine card exempts students from a mask mandate.

University communities have previously been known for causing super-spreader events, or clusters of those infected with the virus both on and off-campus. Locally, University of Texas students were ridiculed for throwing fraternity and sorority parties in the midst of previous surges and for going on a Cabo spring break vacation at the start of the pandemic.

Other local colleges and universities have not yet announced new requirements for the fall. Most higher education institutions require other vaccinations upon enrollment such as the meningitis shot, which prevents the deadly meningococcal disease.

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