Will South GA colleges require students to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 1:04 PM CDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Colleges and universities will have to make a difficult decision if they will require students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for the fall semester.

Dr. Anthony Parker, the President of Albany Technical College, said students will not have to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the fall, but he does think it’s important.

“We are encouraging our students to get vaccines, we are not requiring it. We hope that they contribute to herd immunity and help all of us do well,” said Parker.

There’s debate on whether requiring the vaccine is even legal, but Parker was clear on his take on the matter.

“We can’t require a person to have a vaccine,” Parker said matter-of-factly.

South Georgia Technical College is also not requiring the vaccine. President John Watford provided WALB News 10 with a statement explaining the decision.

South Georgia Technical College will not be requiring the COVID-19 vaccination for students or faculty and staff. However, the college will follow state guidelines to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff. The college is encouraging everyone to wear masks and practice social distancing.

South Georgia Technical College President John Watford

Those decisions line up with the federal government’s stance on vaccine requirements for employees. The CDC said workers don’t have to be vaccinated.

Albany Tech may not mandate vaccinations, however, the school is releasing a plan on how it will respond to the pandemic this fall.

“If things continue to improve, then we don’t feel we will have to have classes with restrictions. Another option would be hybrid like we’re operating now, with lectures online and labs in person. In the very worst-case scenario, we’ll be back to 100 percent online,” said Parker.

Albany Tech will release full details on its fall pandemic plans on Monday, April 18.

Copyright 2021 WALB. All rights reserved.

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