Salisbury University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore will require students and employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to live, learn or work on campus this fall.
Friday’s announcement follows a special meeting held by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, at which Chancellor Dr. Jay Perman outlined the new vaccination requirement, as recommended by a USM workgroup.
SU also will begin a modified Covid-19 testing plan for students, faculty and staff this fall. Testing at the university is expected to continue at least through the end of 2021.
At UMES, President Dr. Heidi Anderson said officials will work to find ways to implement required vaccinations.
“I fully understand that the key to ending this pandemic is getting as many Marylanders vaccinated as possible, Anderson said. “Much thought, review of clinical information and discussions amongst experts took place to bring us all to this decision.”
In a statement, Perman said Coronavirus variants make vaccines crucial to ending the pandemic.
“The University of Maryland School of Medicine is examining 10 percent of positive Covid samples, and 30 percent to 40 percent are the B117 variant, also known as the ‘UK variant.’ The variant is more contagious — some studies suggest more dangerous.
“We’ve been living with Covid for so long now that we forget we’re still in the middle of a public health emergency. But these variants — and the increasing disease burden in young people—are reminding us again that we’re not out of the woods,” he said.