BALTIMORE — Students, faculty and staff at a dozen Maryland universities will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccination before attending classes on campus in the future, according to University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay A. Perman.
Perman issued the mandate Friday in a news release, saying, "I’m convinced that the risk of doing too little to contain COVID on campus this fall is far greater than the risk of doing too much."
Under the mandate, all eligible students, faculty, and staff who will be on USM campuses in the fall must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. There will be exemptions for medical or religious reasons.
Perman said mandating vaccines is the best tool in the fight against the coronavirus as more people arrive on college campuses under the University System of Maryland in the fall.
The news comes just a few days after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan launched the No Arm Left Behind campaign to increase COVID vaccinations in the state.
That campaign will partner with the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to conduct campus outreach and help reserve appointments for college students at the state’s 12+ mass vaccination sites.
The University System of Maryland includes 12 colleges and universities across the state. Perman's announcement follows several other decisions by universities to mandate vaccines. Georgetown University, American University and George Washington University in D.C. announced vaccine requirements earlier in April.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the University of Maryland system is only the fourth university system in the nation to mandate vaccination at all its institutions.