Morehouse, Spelman and CAU to require students to get vaccine for fall semester

The HBCUs that comprise the AUCC want their in-person attendees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The historically-Black campuses that make up the Atlanta University Center Consortium have announced they will require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend in-person classes this fall.

By the start of the semester, all students and staff at Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College will need two or more weeks to have passed since either their second in a two-dose series or their lone dose of the single-dose vaccine.

A sign is shown at Morehouse College, one of the three of the historically-Black schools that make up the Atlanta University Center Consortium requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend in-person classes this fall. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for ALL IN: The Fight for Democracy)

“As AUCC member institutions plan for summer programming and the fall semester, using the latest scientific data to implement vaccination protocols is the next step in keeping our community safe,” the leaders of the AUCC members said Monday in a joint statement. “Vaccination of our community members is critical to continue meeting our highest priority — maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our constituents.”

“We take pride in our community, which rallied over the last year to maintain a safe environment for teaching and learning,” the statement continued. “Our institutions collaborated to support students, faculty and staff via numerous academic, co-curricular, physical and mental health initiatives and programs to address the challenges brought on by needing to remain primarily in a virtual environment.”

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Vaccinations will be available at the AUCC Student Health and Wellness Center, as well as on each of the campuses.

The decision also applies to the Morehouse School of Medicine and the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library.

AUCC officials said there may be some exemptions from the decision, however, that would be decided by each institution through their respective processes.

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Rutgers, Brown, Duke, Cornell and Northeastern universities all made the same decision recently for their fall semester. The schools are hoping to achieve herd immunity on campus and lessen the rampant spread of the virus that occurred in college students this time last year.

The decision to vaccinate students would also allow for a loosening of space restrictions in classrooms and dormitories.

The statement was signed by the presidents of the institutions and the executive director of the Atlanta University Center. It concluded by saying that administering vaccinations in on-campus communities will support the “excellent outcomes of our invaluable institutions.”

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