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Bates requiring COVID vaccine for fall 2021 students

Bates joins UNE, COA, and Bowdoin in requiring that fall 2021 students get the COVID-19 vaccine.

LEWISTON, Maine — All students planning to attend Bates College in the fall will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Vice President for Campus Life Joshua McIntosh said in a letter to students Tuesday.

In the letter, McIntosh said that getting vaccinated helps to put students "in a better position to return to the many activities and experiences that existed on our campus before the pandemic, but were not possible this academic year."

Last month, Bowdoin College announced all students, faculty, and staff are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Friday, August 13. This is with the exception of those who qualify for legal exemptions, Bowdoin said.

The University of New England (UNE) and College of the Atlantic (COA) have also announced vaccine requirements for next school year.

“Having a fully vaccinated community should allow us to teach, learn, and practice human ecology as it is meant to be done,” COA President Darron Collins said.

UNE said the decision was made “after careful consideration and co consultation with university’s medical and public health experts, the COVID-19 Response Committee, legal experts, and the student, faculty, and professional staff governing bodies.”

“We haven’t had people say they’re not coming but I have had some pushback. My email has been active since the announcement went out this morning. The majority of the messages and phone calls have been supportive," UNE President James Herbert said. "People are glad that we're doing it for the most part, but I have had some folks were not happy about it and have concerns or questions and we're responding to those.”