Virginia Tech continues urging students to get vaccinated less than one month before start of fall semester

New River Valley News

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR)– More than a year into the pandemic, schools across the nation are beginning to roll out their vaccination policies for the fall semester.

Virginia Tech is less than one month away from the start of its 2021-2022 school year and requiring all students to get fully vaccinated. However, teachers and staff have the option to not get vaccinated and instead get frequent COVID-19 testing.

“Virginia Tech employees are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. The need and frequency of testing for unvaccinated employees will be determined based on the risk an individual’s position presents to the community,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said in a letter to the Hokie community.

(Photo: Courtesy Virginia Tech Vaccination Dashboard)

This July, the school put together vaccination deadlines for students to get either the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccination. By Aug. 6, students must submit their vaccination verification form, amongst other common vaccines.

In the last week, Virginia Tech released a vaccination dashboard to show how many people on its campus are reportedly fully vaccinated. As of Monday, July 12, less than half of its students have uploaded their vaccination verification.

Dr. Noelle Bissell, the New River Health Director, says that this is typical of college student behavior.

“The students notoriously wait until the last minute to upload those forms. So, those numbers are those who have actually updated proof of vaccination. They do not show who is, and who isn’t vaccinated,” said Bissell.

Carla Lopezlloreda, a graduate student in Biological Sciences, says she was not aware that faculty did not have to get vaccinated. If vaccinations are required amongst students, then faculty members should face the same policy.

Leslie Howe, a Ph.D. student in physics, shared an opposite view, feeling that vaccination is a choice and that nobody should be forced to do anything.

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