Report: Virginia college vaccine mandates unevenly enforced

(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File) (Robert F. Bukaty, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – While dozens of Virginia colleges and universities have implemented COVID-19 vaccine mandates for the fall semester, a newspaper report found loopholes that mean those requirements are sometimes going unenforced.

As the first week of college classes came to a close Friday, it was clear some mandates were being treated more like recommendations, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

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For instance, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond announced in June that all students who come to campus would have to be vaccinated. But the school is not removing non-compliant students.

Asked why, a VCU spokesperson did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

Virginia Union University, also in Richmond, announced in July that students should be vaccinated two weeks before arriving on campus. A school spokesperson told the newspaper the university hasn’t removed any non-compliant students and did not respond when asked if VUU was checking to make sure its students were vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the University of Richmond is allowing exemptions for “personal convictions strongly and sincerely held.”

Other schools are enforcing their mandates more strictly. The University of Virginia recently disenrolled 238 students, less than 1% of the student body, who did not report their vaccination status. Virginia Tech did not allow non-compliant students to enroll this fall.

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