Vaccination not mandatory for college campus access…

    overhead view on young business people around wooden desk

    … but you will need to show proof of jab get into bars

    STUDENTS heading to college in September will not have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to access third-level campuses.

    However, both students and staff will need to show proof of vaccination in order to access indoor college canteens or bars, in line with wider public health rules.

    A number of higher education sources confirmed that students will be urged to take up offers of a vaccination to ensure they can avail of the “full student experience”.

    Hundreds of higher education institutions in the US have made vaccination mandatory for students, while some zero-Covid advocates have said it would be “perfectly reasonable” to do the same in Ireland.

    Dr Tomás Ryan, a neuroscientist at Trinity and member of the Independent Scientific Advocacy Group, said recently it was “not radical” to require students to be vaccinated.

    This will be a gradual process

    “I don’t see how any university can expect to return to campus as normal. It’s not going to be like that. This will be a gradual process,” Dr Ryan said. “We are going to have to see how the pandemic develops, but I think it’s perfectly reasonable to have mandatory vaccination for students wishing to participate in campus activities. It makes perfect sense.”

    Senior third-level sources said that, while such steps have been considered, they felt a push to make it mandatory was not necessary given the success of the vaccination campaign so far.

    The Irish Universities Association, the Technological Higher Education Association and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland announced the joint approach last week. Their joint statement noted that the vast majority of adults and college students will have been offered the opportunity to be vaccinated by this September.

    reasonable accommodation

    They said “reasonable accommodation” would be made for any member of the research or learning community for whom vaccination is medically contravened.

    Their implementation plan builds on other advice published by the Department of Further and Higher Education last June on the safe reopening of college campuses. This outlined mitigation measures that will be implemented including mask wearing in shared indoor settings, in accordance with public health advice.


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