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COVID-19 Vaccine Policy in US Institutions for International Students

COVID-19 Vaccine Policy in US Institutions for International Students

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Key Takeaways:

  • Different COVID-19 vaccine policies for each US institution
  • More than 500 US colleges and universities require COVID-19 vaccinations for incoming international students
  • International students must coordinate with the chosen school about the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Quarantine is required upon arrival in certain schools
  • Remote learning is still a possibility
  • Revaccination may be required in some US colleges and institutions

Over 500 US colleges and universities require all incoming students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before attending the Fall 2021 term. However, each school varies with a COVID-19 policy, such as accepting the FDA- or WHO-approved vaccines. In the US, only Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have been granted emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration. 

Said vaccines are already widely used in the entire country. Aside from the vaccine, international students may have to quarantine at their respective schools. Remote learning may still be done, and revaccination is required depending on the school’s policy.

As for the quarantine policy, international students must stay tuned to the developing updates on each college or university’s health protocol. They are encouraged to follow state and local recommendations. 

In Iowa State University, for example, international students may undergo quarantine or practice increased health and safety precautions for seven days after landing in the US. Other universities, such as the University of Southern California (USC), require students to submit COVID-19 vaccination proof before using campus facilities for the Fall term.

When it comes to remote learning, it will remain an option for international students who cannot get the COVID-19 shot. US institutions will also assist all unvaccinated international students in having access to FDA-approved vaccines to attend in-person learning.

“We anticipate students who are not fully vaccinated will have options for in-person and remote learning with safety measures in accordance with CDC and Riverside Public Health,” said Dr. Kenneth Han, Chief Medical Officer at the University of California, Riverside.

Not all international students have the WHO- or FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Thus, revaccination is required in certain schools. As per CDC guidelines, students need to wait a minimum of 28 days before revaccination. In some schools, such as Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago, revaccination is mandatory upon arrival at the campus.

Dr. Sara Van Orman, Chief Health Officer at USC, said that incoming partially vaccinated students may need to get a second dose of an FDA-approved vaccine, which includes the Pfizer two-dose series and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen one-dose vaccines. These mentioned vaccines are currently available through USC Student Health.

Vaccination is not a requirement though in schools such as Boston University, California State University, and Florida Tech. These institutions, however, encourage all incoming students to receive the shot and may offer vaccinations in the coming semester. 

MSM Unify is your one-stop source platform that connects students, higher education institutions, and agents in the US and the world. Subscribe now to get the latest updates and information on international education.

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