Fort Lewis College to require COVID-19 vaccine for students enrolling in fall semester

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DURANGO, C.O.— Fort Lewis College in Durango added the COVID-19 vaccine on the list of requirements to enroll for the upcoming fall semester.

“Well currently we require the MMR vaccine. It’s part of our existing vaccine policy. And given the disruption that COVID-19 has been to our students and learning, we felt that having a broadly vaccinated student body was the best chance of having a normal semester," said Tom Stritikus, president of Fort Lewis College.

In Colorado, anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible for the vaccine, but college officials are expecting some exemptions.

“Let’s say that a student is allergic to one of the ingredients of the vaccine. They would simply need a doctor signature saying that they are allergic to the vaccine," said Stritikus.

Students can also be exempt for religious purposes. As for faculty and staff, the vaccine is not required but encouraged. That will be further discussed.

“Eighty-five percent of our student facing faculty and staff are already vaccinated," said Stritikus

Fort Lewis College serves a majority of Native American students, many of which are already vaccinated. College officials hope that most students will have their vaccine by the fall in order to have a more traditional college experience.