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UNE joins Bowdoin College in requiring all students, staff to get COVID vaccine booster

The deadline for University of New England students and staff to receive the booster will be determined in early 2022.

BIDDEFORD, Maine — The University of New England is requiring all on-campus students and employees to get a COVID-19 booster shot.

UNE is the second college or university in Maine to announce a booster requirement. Bowdoin College announced Wednesday that students and staff would need a booster shot to return to campus next semester. 

In a letter to the UNE community Friday, President James Herbert said the university recognizes that students and staff may need time to meet this requirement. For that reason, he said UNE's deadline for receiving the booster will be determined in early 2022.

"Although we hope to run additional vaccine clinics in the new year, we cannot rely on the availability of vaccine," Herbert wrote. "I, therefore, urge you to seek a booster in your local community (for example, through a pharmacy or your primary care provider) rather than waiting for a UNE clinic."

Herbert also said the increased protection boosters provide is "critical in order to maintain the safety we continue to enjoy within our community as positive cases in Maine continue to grow."

RELATED: Bowdoin College requiring all students, staff to get COVID booster by start of next semester

Bates College, Colby College, and the University of Maine said they encourage boosters but have not yet mandated them for students returning for the spring semester.

"We are encouraging boosters for our students, we are not yet requiring them," Bates spokeswoman Mary Pols said.

"We are strongly encouraging a booster shot with an awareness campaign featuring Chancellor Malloy, UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy, and other university leaders as we conclude the fall semester but have not yet announced a booster mandate for the spring semester," UMaine spokesman Dan Demeritt said.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about COVID-19 and the vaccine in Maine

A spokesman for Colby College told NEWS CENTER Maine, "Colby’s number one priority is the health and safety of our community, and we remain committed to providing the safest possible environment. The College's multifaceted approach to Covid-19 has allowed us to remain on campus, living and learning together, with limited transmission of the virus. Colby is considering the possibility of requiring a Covid-19 booster for the upcoming winter/spring semester but a final decision has not yet been made. However, we are encouraging our faculty, staff and students to receive Covid-19 booster shots along with flu shots, and will continue to provide on-campus clinics for that purpose."


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