Loyola University Chicago announced Wednesday it requires students, faculty and staff to receive a COVID-19 booster shot “as soon as they are eligible,” according to an email sent to the university community.
“Loyola’s vaccination and booster requirement is informed by our Jesuit, Catholic commitment to the common good, solidarity, and justice,” Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney and Provost Margaret Faut Callahan said in the email. “Given the serious nature of the pandemic and the safety, efficacy, and availability of the COVID-19 vaccines, we are rightly called to make reasonable efforts to protect one another through vaccination and boosters.”
Loyola’s booster requirement was spurred on by the “highly transmissive” Omicron variant, administration said. Having a high vaccination rate on campus allowed for a “successful” fall semester, something the university hopes to continue in the spring by requiring booster shots.
Illinois’ first two cases of Omicron were in Cook County, one in Chicago and the other in the suburbs. Early research suggests the virus may cause a milder version of COVID-19, but the Cook County Department of Public Health expects Omicron will soon pass Delta as the most circulated variant in the area.
Those in the Loyola community who have already received their booster shot can upload their vaccine information on the school’s app or online at LUC.edu/vaxupload. People with religious and medical exemptions don’t have to get the booster shot but will have to continue being tested regularly come spring semester.