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Public Health

Nevada College Students Will Need To Show Proof Of COVID-19 Vaccine By Spring Semester 2022

A navy blue sign outdoors with a statue of UNR’s “N” logo. There are people with backpacks walking on the sidewalk behind the sign and a large brick building in the background.
Lucia Starbuck
/
KUNR Public Radio
The University of Nevada, Reno campus, a Nevada System of Higher Education institution, on Aug. 19, 2021.

State officials are requiring all students at public universities, state colleges and community colleges in Nevada to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccinations. They have until Nov. 1 to do so before enrolling in classes for the spring semester.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed the regulation on Friday requiring all students enrolled in Nevada System of Higher Education institutions to show proof of vaccinations by spring semester 2022. This follows the Nevada Board of Health’s unanimous vote in support. Students starting fall classes on Monday will not have to show proof of vaccination.

Board of Health member Dr. Trudy Larson has spent more than four decades in medicine and public health. She stressed the importance of the vaccine.

“This is one of the safest vaccines that has ever been produced. And it is highly effective, and it’s still highly effective,” Larson said.

At the meeting, public comment went on for over three hours, and many were in opposition. One of the concerns many students and parents expressed was the requirement is infringing on their rights.

“I do not agree with you trying to force me to get this vaccine, and it is not fair that my education could be at forfeit, that I do not get to finish my degree next semester because I do not wish to put this in my body,” student Zoe Chamberlain said.

Others pledged to un-enroll if the requirement goes into effect, but there were a handful of people who spoke in support of the regulation, like Abraham Lugo, the student body vice president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“If we do not, nothing at all will be done to combat this disease. The numbers will continue to grow as they already have, we will get shut down, once again, and countless people, once again, will die due to the refusal of both masking up and getting vaccinations,” Lugo said.

Vaccination requirements are not new. Students already have to show proof of immunizations against other infections, such as tetanus and measles.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

As a note of disclosure, the Nevada System of Higher Education owns the license to this station.

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