More colleges may follow suit, but, for now, there is one Colorado college that will require COVID-19 vaccinations for students this fall.

Durango's Fort Lewis College is requiring all students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to class for the fall semester. That decision is sure to produce a mix of positive and negative reactions from students and their parents.

Here's What Fort Lewis College Is Saying

Obviously, 2020 was extremely difficult for educators and students at all levels from elementary schools all the way to the college level. The coronavirus pandemic forced schools to change the way they teach, implementing virtual classes and instruction which enabled students to continue to learn and progress in their education from home.

With generally declining COVID numbers and the availability of a vaccine, educators have high expectations that in-person learning will be the norm going forward, however, preventing outbreaks of the virus and consequential disruption remains a priority. Fort Lewis College wants to ensure its students have the best learning experience possible and posted this message on its website.

A broadly vaccinated student body provides our best hope for returning to the hands-on, inclusive, and personalized learning environment we all know and love....On campus, this vaccination requirement will allow you to attend in-person events, play intramural sports, dine with friends, attend performances, cheer for our athletes, and have more in-person interactions with classmates and faculty.

While the COVID-19 vaccination will be required, students may request exemptions based on factors such as medical conditions and religious beliefs.

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What's Happening at Colorado Mesa University?

At this point, CMU has stopped short of requiring vaccines, but says "we encourage you to schedule your vaccination as soon as possible." The university says it expects relaxed protocols in the future as vaccinations become more widespread and virus numbers continue to trend down.

Vaccine Requirements Aren't New to Colorado Students

There appears to be widespread resistance to mandated vaccines among the general population, but, in reality, vaccine requirements are nothing new for Colorado students as all parents know.  Students in all grades are required to have vaccines including Hepatitis B, Diptheria, Measles, and Chicken Pox among others. The reason, of course, is to prevent an outbreak and the spread of those diseases.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, vaccine requirements are already in place for institutions of higher learning. Colorado college students have to provide proof of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. COVID-19 would just be one more on the list should more colleges and universities decide to mandate the vaccine for students.

 

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LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.