BOSTON (CBS) - Boston University has become the latest college to require students to be vaccinated against coronavirus before returning to campus in the fall. "If it's going to make the BU community safer overall and we'll be together sooner that's the way to go," said student Christine Seo.
Students have been spending most of their time learning remotely, but BU joins a growing list of schools making the requirement for an expected return to all in-person learning in the fall.
"I would hope that most people are OK with that decision and understand the benefits are net positive," said student Sahit Subramanian.
In a letter to the BU community President Robert Brown writes: "The effectiveness of the vaccines against COVID-19 and their increasing availability is our route to a much more normal fall semester on our campuses. Our goal is to move to a "new normal" in the fall that includes only minimal social distancing, where all our facilities are open, students can move freely between residences and guests are welcome."
Student Connor Donovan believes it's not a civil rights issue. "It's a health issue and we should all be protecting each other," he said.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Paul Sax of Brigham and Women's Hospital says colleges are now critical to controlling COVID-19. "Study after study shows young adults are most likely to get COVID-19," Dr. Sax said. "They don't get as sick but that doesn't mean none of them get sick and they can be contagious to others."
It doesn't necessarily mean an end to mask wearing in some classrooms, but students who support the vaccine requirement say it does mean feeling more comfortable in them. "If everyone is vaccinated and we're in a bubble I'll be much more comfortable," said student Sophia Kuipa.
Northeastern University became the first Massachusetts college to require vaccinations for students. Students will need to provide documentation, but a BU spokesman says exceptions will be made for medical or religious reasons.
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