Publish Date

The University of Illinois System will require students on its three campuses, including Springfield, to receive a COVID-19 vaccination if they plan to be on campus for the fall semester.

The announcement came in a letter from system president Timothy Killeen.

The University of Illinois became the first public university in the state to announce such a requirement.

The requirement, Killeen said, is "consistent with our own scientific modeling of the risks associated with the spread of the virus and its variants. It is also consistent with the Illinois Department of Public Health’s goals."

Students who are not vaccinated will need to follow campus-specific guidelines and any exemption protocols issued by each university, Killeen said.

Students who planned to work or study remotely are exempted from the requirements, he added.

University of Illinois Springfield interim chancellor Karen Whitney said she was enthusiastically supporting the directive.

"I think what this directive does is to provide people with clarity about what their university is expecting from them," Whitney said. "People want clarity. What I can tell you is the more vaccinated a college campus is, the more students can get the student life they want and, let's be honest, the life they didn't get to have last year.

Students should be fully vaccinated by the start of classes on Aug. 20, she added.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on June 21, 2021.

Read the entire article online.