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Saint Louis University to require students, staff to be fully vaccinated by the fall

SLU will also require vaccinations for students studying abroad. It will grant exemptions on the grounds of religious beliefs or medical exceptions

ST. LOUIS — Saint Louis University will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, staff and faculty who are working or living on campus, the university's president announced in a letter this week.

The university is still working through details regarding proof of vaccination, exemptions and timelines.

"Until those dates are identified, all students should expect that they will need to be fully vaccinated prior to their return to campus in August," SLU President Fred Pestello said in the letter. "As we have asked throughout this pandemic, please be patient as we determine the logistics of implementing the many aspects of our vaccination requirement — and for submitting requests for exemptions."

SLU will also require vaccinations for students studying abroad, including those who attend classes at its campus in Madrid.

The university will grant exemptions on the grounds of religious beliefs or medical exceptions.

Pestello urged students and staff to be mindful of the dosing schedules if they choose the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, ensuring they are fully get vaccinated in time. Classes resume in about 11 weeks.

Pestello said he asked a group of 13 faculty, staff and students to assess whether the university should require vaccinations, and the committee made the recommendation to require vaccination.

"Committee members reached this conclusion after having reviewed the vaccination policies of other universities; assessed the more than 1,000 comments from their peers; sought the advice of others outside the working group; and consulted a health ethicist," Pestello said.

WashU announced in April that it will require students to get vaccinated before returning to campus in the fall. It will also allow exemptions for students who are not able to receive the vaccine for religious or medical reasons.

RELATED: WashU requiring students to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus this fall