University of Virginia Disenrolls 238 Unvaccinated Students

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The Rotunda at the University of Virginia, 2006. (Aaron Josephson / Wikimedia Commons)

The University of Virginia announced on Friday that it had disenrolled 238 students who failed to comply with the school’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

UVA requires “all students who live, learn, or work in person at the university” to be fully vaccinated for the upcoming school year.

The students now have until August 25 to receive a COVID vaccine and re-enroll for fall classes, Brian Coy, a school spokesman, told the Washington Post. Students also have the option to return to campus in the spring, given they meet the vaccination requirement at that time.

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More than 96 percent of UVA students are vaccinated, in compliance with the school’s vaccine mandate which it announced in May.

Just 335 students were granted permanent waivers for religious and medical exemptions, while another 184 temporary waivers were granted to students who had difficulty getting vaccinated but plan to receive the shots when they return to campus.

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Less than 1 percent of students enrolled have not met the vaccine requirement, though Coy notes that of those 238 students, only 49 “had actually selected courses, meaning that a good number of the remaining 189 may not have been planning to return to the university this fall at all, regardless of our vaccination policy.”

After the policy was announced in May, the university sent students reminders about the policy, which asked students to provide proof of vaccination by July 1. The university called, texted and emailed students who did not comply.

Earlier this month, the university’s president said at a town hall that the “extraordinarily high vaccination rate in our community” has placed the university in a “much better and much different position than we were last year.”

“This means we can return in person to classes, activities, sporting events and research labs as we have been planning to do in the fall semester, with the residential experiences that are at the heart of this university,” university president Jim Ryan said.

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For the upcoming semester, UVA says there will be some 18,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate students. Two-thirds of the student body is from Virginia, according to the school’s website.

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