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Macalester College will require students, staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they're returning to campus

They are required to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 2.

Macalester College will require students, staff, and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they wish to return to its St. Paul campus this fall.

The announcement was made on Friday, with President Suzanne Rivera saying in a memo to staff and students that anyone who plans to be on campus this coming fall needs to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 2.

There will be "limited exemptions" in place for those who qualify using the existing exemption system Macalester has for compulsory immunizations, which can be for medical reasons as well as being a "conscientious objector."

Rivera said that the decision to require vaccinations is based upon three "principles":

– That the health and safety of our community is our top priority,

– That science informs and guides our public health strategies.

– That the wellbeing of our campus community should not be put at risk by personal preferences.

Rivera acknowledges that it "might be challenging to schedule a vaccination" right now, though there has been a recent dip in demand and increase in supply as an increasing proportion of Minnesota adults receive their shots.

Macalester will be making vaccines available at its HyVee pharmacy clinic on Apr. 29 and 30 for students and employees.

While the likes of Gov. Tim Walz and President Joe Biden have rejected the idea of implementing state or federal-level "vaccine passports" to access public services, private companies can still require them.

Macalester's 2021-22 school year starts on Sept. 2.

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