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COLLEGES AND VACCINES: What local campuses are saying

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SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA (FOX 47) -- Some college campuses in the country have already publicly required students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus in the fall. However, it is a different story for campuses in the area.

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Winona State's Rochester Campus, Rochester Community and Technical College, St. Mary's University and Riverland Community College all say they're not requiring a vaccine.

"We know it's a way back, a potential way back to some normal practices but we also recognize it's a personal choice," said Riverland Executive Director of Communications James Douglass.

However, only the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is receiving vaccine allotments from the state. Riverland has told the state it would be interested in receiving allotments and having a vaccination site but hasn't received any as of yet.

Since students have to go off campus, St. Mary's wants students to be able to get their appointments without barriers. Which is why the campus has a ridesharing program students can use through the university.

With no mandates in place, campuses are continuing to monitor cases and who gets the vaccine.

"We know a large percentage of our student population are student athletes so currently we have 54 percent of our student athletes vaccinated," said St. Mary's Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Tim Gossen.

Both schools said constant communication is sent out to students encouraging vaccines but also practicing safety measures.

Both St. Mary's and Riverland have been in-person this full school year.

Zach Fuller

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