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Georgetown, George Washington & American universities will require COVID-19 vaccines for students

Vaccines will play a significant role in students returning to campus, education leaders said.

WASHINGTON — Leaders at three D.C. universities will require students to get a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus for in-person learning this fall.

Georgetown University, George Washington University and American University made announcements about vaccine requirements.

Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia wrote a letter to students.

"Following the guidance of our Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Ranit Mishori, and our Public Health Advisory group, and in consultation with student, staff, and faculty leaders, we will require undergraduate and graduate students at the Main Campus, Medical Center, and Law Center to receive a COVID-19 vaccination for the fall semester," the letter reads.

Guidance for international students living outside the United States will receive more information in the coming weeks, DeGioia wrote. There has been no decision on whether faculty and staff will also be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

"As we look at the additional public health measures that will enable our safe return this fall, we are closely reviewing whether we will establish a vaccine requirement for faculty and staff. We are consulting with our faculty and staff leadership bodies as we consider this decision," DeGioia writes.

American University President Sylvia M. Burwell told students vaccines would be required on that campus as well. Burwell said the move is an important component of a safe return to campus. 

“Robust vaccinations in our community will enable us to expand activities and interactions that enrich the educational, research, and social experiences that are fundamental to AU,” she said.

And George Washington President Thomas J. LeBlanc announced that the university will require students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to being on campus this fall. The institution released a statement that said President LeBlanc and other GW leaders developed the new policy in order to help keep the GW community and the larger D.C. metropolitan area healthy and safe this fall.

"We remain optimistic about the coming months, and we are excited to take more positive steps that prioritize health and safety as well as focus on flexibility and an engaging on-campus experience this fall," President LeBlanc said.

Like Georgetown, George Washington and American universities has not yet come up with a plan for international students and are seeking further guidance.

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