coronavirus in connecticut

Talking COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements at Universities

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More colleges and universities are requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students and staff. And as vaccination requirements increase, we're starting to hear about fake vaccination cards.

Dr. Anthony Santella is a professor of health administration and policy as well as the COVID-19 coordinator at the University of New Haven, one of the schools mandating a vaccine. He said making sure everyone is vaccinated is a priority for the fall.

"We've had a pretty detailed communications plan for the past several months that has really told not only the students but also the faculty and staff, what they need to do and by when and for us that was submitted either proof of being fully vaccinated or an exemption request by August 1. I'm happy to report that almost 88% of our university community is fully vaccinated, with an additional 4% being partially vaccinated.”

Santella said to date they have not had any issues with fake vaccination cards, but that staff has been trained on what to look for to tell if something is legitimate or not.

"Of course, we have a you know, we have a team here at the university that's reviewing those really, day and night, our COVID operations are pretty 24/7 at this point, but it really is up to the university staff member who has been trained on what to look for what could be telling if something is legitimate or not. And we're doing our best case, you know, we're using our best judgment to assess those on a case by case basis," he told NBC Connecticut.

He also noted that the university does allow certain exemptions and that there will be extra precautions in place for those individuals.

A study from the University of Arizona suggests that many with mild COVID-19 cases may experience long-term symptoms.

"We have a very small minority of students and a much smaller minority of employees who do have university-approved exemptions, those individuals will need to follow additional precautions. So for example, students who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated will need to wear masks even when outdoors, they'll need to do weekly surveillance testing. They'll be limited in terms of university-sponsored travel, so there are restrictions in place to ensure that everyone is healthy regardless of their vaccination status.”

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