The University of Maine system is the latest to require students who plan to take part in on-campus activities to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Originally, university officials had planned to require the vaccination for the spring semester. But the rapid spread of the Delta variant has prompted them to expedite that requirement, out of an abundance of caution. Now, students will need to verify their vaccinated status or get their first shot toward full immunity by August 20th, in order to be eligible for on-campus activities in the fall semester. Anyone who does not abide by these guidelines will not be able to participate in any activities taking place on campus.

There is an opportunity for students to request and receive an exemption to the vaccine requirement for a documented medical contraindication or a sincerely held religious belief. Exempted students and anyone in the process of becoming fully vaccinated will be required to participate in asymptomatic screening, face covering requirements, and other safety practices to participate in on-campus activities.

Chancellor Malloy says their decisions have been guided by science.

The data around the Delta variant is sobering and we are expediting our plans to require vaccination for our in-person population as part of our multifaceted approach to student safety and public health this fall.

Students who participate solely in remote learning are exempt from the vaccination requirement. Discussions are underway with labor leaders to require faculty and staff members to also comply with the vaccination demand.

Classes start up again on August 30th, and every University of Maine campus will be hosting vaccination clinics.

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