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Rice announces student vaccine requirement for fall semester

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Courtesy Rice University

By Prayag Gordy     5/29/21 8:47am

All members of the Rice community are expected to return in person for the fall and all students who come to campus are expected to be fully vaccinated before the fall semester, President David Leebron announced in an email Friday. Students who receive a medical or religious waiver must continue to test weekly and wear a mask indoors, according to the email.

Employees are not required to be vaccinated, Leebron wrote. Staff and faculty who opt against vaccination must test weekly and wear a mask indoors.

Doug Miller, director of news and media relations, said the administration will provide more information about vaccinations on June 14.



Leebron also announced Rice’s goal to vaccinate at least 90 percent of the campus community. Approximately 80 percent of Rice students, staff and faculty have indicated that they have been vaccinated through Rice’s survey.

International students are subject to the vaccine requirement, which Leebron said he recognizes can be difficult.

“We know this [vaccine requirement] will pose problems for some of our international students, but we will work with them to ensure that they get the vaccine upon arrival and to avoid delays in their academic program,” Leebron wrote.

During the fall semester, Rice will hold forums to discuss how pandemic-era accommodations, such as online education and a larger focus on community health, should be incorporated moving forward, according to Leebron.

“In addition to focusing on campus safety, it is important that we reflect on the ways in which our university is different than it was prior to the pandemic,” Leebron wrote. “We want your thoughts on how we can apply the experiences and the lessons we’ve learned during this unique time.”



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