Students at the University of Illinois' three campuses will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine upon returning in-person for the fall semester, the university's president announced in a systemwide email Monday.
The move falls in line with recommendations by the American College Health Association and follows vaccine mandates introduced at other Illinois higher education institutions including DePaul University, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.
The campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield will each institute safety measures and separately unveil vaccination guidance later this summer.
Those who aren't vaccinated will be required to follow university guidelines and established exemption protocols, University of Illinois System President Timothy Killeen explained in the email to students, faculty and staff.
"Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, students have helped make the University of Illinois System a model for the nation – a model of community, a model of safety and a model of pulling together for the common good," he added. "We look forward to their help in setting the standard again this fall, a semester that will restore most in-person instruction and many of the other traditional rhythms of campus life that COVID interrupted last year."
Individuals who plan to work or study remotely will be exempt from the vaccination mandate.
The University of Illinois will continue to monitor its policies closely and make adjustments based on advances in scientific understanding and guidance from health authorities, the president explained in the email.