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DePaul, Columbia to require students returning for fall semester to be vaccinated

“Safety, mutual care and social responsibility” are behind the decision, according A. Gabriel Esteban, president of DePaul, the nation’s largest Catholic university.

The Holtschneider Performance Center at DePaul University.
Students at DePaul University and Columbia College will be required to have COVID-19 vaccinations in order to return for the fall semester.
DePaul University / Jeff Carrion

DePaul University and Columbia College will require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall, the schools announced this week.

Both schools plan to offer vaccines on campus this month.

“Safety, mutual care and social responsibility” are behind the decision, according A. Gabriel Esteban, president of DePaul, the nation’s largest Catholic university.

“While the pandemic has kept many of us apart in the last year, I am greatly anticipating your return to campus in the fall,” Esteban wrote in a letter to students. “Keeping our community safe requires a collective effort.”

Both schools will grant religious or medical-based exemptions to the rule.

Columbia and DePaul join a small but expanding number of mostly private schools, including the University of Notre Dame, that are requiring students to be vaccinated.

DePaul hasn’t decided whether employees will be required to get vaccinated. Columbia is not requiring employees to get vaccinated.