Vaccine Mandate Not Likely, Says Leavitt

Two colleges in Wisconsin have recently announced that they will require getting vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall. Lawrence University in Appleton will require students age 16-and-older to be fully vaccinated starting in June, while Beloit College announced this week that students and staff need to be vaccinated before returning for the fall semester.

Even with the list of colleges requiring the vaccine growing, UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt says we’re not likely to see a vaccine mandate at UW-O, or any UW System school.   

“Right now, the thinking at the system level is that we want to do this strongly-encouraged option. We wouldn’t require it, but we believe that we can get more than we need to, to get that herd immunity on campus so that everyone can come back safely.”  

UW-System officials have said they won’t mandate getting vaccinated, in part because none of the three available vaccines have been given final approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Interim UW-System President Tommy Thompson added in a recent interview that it would be unfair to prevent people with religious, medical or political reasons for not getting the vaccine from going to college.