News in Brief: College to require vaccination for on-campus students, faculty, staff this fall

By Jack Summersby

Middlebury College will require all students, faculty and staff on campus this fall to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, except for those who provide an approved medical or religious exemption, according to an email from members of the Senior Leadership Group sent to the Middlebury community on Thursday. “Fully vaccinated” means that two weeks have passed  since the final dose of the vaccine. College officials said that CDC and state guidance as well as high availability of vaccines in the U.S. factored into their decision. 

The college previously announced that those living on campus this summer, such as Language Schools students, must be fully vaccinated by June 10, two weeks before programs begin. In addition, faculty and staff returning to in-person work this fall must now be vaccinated by August 16. Some departments may adopt more flexible work arrangements after experimenting last year.

Once they are vaccinated, students must upload a photo of their vaccination record to their student health portal. Faculty and staff will provide proof of vaccination in a yet-to-be-announced format.

The college’s policy for this fall is largely consistent with NESCAC and peer institutions. Bowdoin is requiring both students and college employees to be vaccinated, while Amherst, Williams, Tufts and Swarthmore have so far only announced a requirement for students. In Vermont, Bennington will require student vaccination, while the University of Vermont has yet to announce its intentions.

It is increasingly clear that Middlebury’s path to resuming more in-person instruction, events, and on-campus work is dependent on increasing the number of people who are vaccinated,” the email said. “We have much to look forward to, and we are excited about the prospect of returning to life at Middlebury in many of the ways we all miss, while continuing to keep our community safe.” 

Individuals age 12 and older are eligible for Covid-19 vaccination in the state of Vermont and can schedule a vaccination appointment through the Vermont Department of Health, CVS, Kinney Drugs or Walgreens.