Western, Central Washington universities to require vaccines
BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Western Washington University in Bellingham and Central Washington University in Ellensburg will require students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when in-person classes begin this fall.
Western University President Sabah Randhawa made the announcement Wednesday, The Bellingham Herald reported.
Randhawa said the decision was made in the belief that it will protect the health and safety of the community on- and off-campus and speed the return to more normal in-person operations.
The announcement about Central was made via a letter to the campus and posted to Central’s website on Thursday, The Daily Record reported. In the letter, university officials said the decision was driven by the increased availability of the vaccine. Central has recently offered vaccine clinics on campus for students and staff.
Eastern Washington University in Cheney, however, will not require students and faculty to get the COVID-19 vaccine, KHQ reported.
“The decision to get vaccinated is not one that we can make for you,” Eastern Interim President David May said Thursday in a news release.
May asked students and faculty to take responsibility by getting the vaccine, but reinforced that it would not be a requirement. He added that there may be some areas on campus where vaccination requirements are implemented.
Washington State University and the University of Washington, as well as some private universities in the state, previously said proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be required on campus.