Emergence of COVID-19 vaccine prompts no change to fall immunization requirements

Georgia Southern has no current plans to require the COVID-19 vaccine for fall enrollment.

Eden Hodges, Managing Editor

Georgia Southern plans to administer COVID-19 vaccines as outlined by the Georgia Department of Public Health, making students among the last to be vaccinated, but the university has no plans to require the vaccine for fall immunizations.

“The vaccines are not mandatory nor will they be a requirement for admissions or for employment,” said Vice President for Communications and Marketing John Lester, DPA.

Georgia Southern’s immunization requirements outline various vaccines that are required for attending class on campus and include a disclaimer that allows the GS president to change immunization rules and regulations in the case of an epidemic. You can find the full disclaimer here.

As far as the vaccine rollout plan is concerned, vaccines will be administered in phases, as their limited supply allows and at no cost to certain groups of students, faculty or staff at GS through the university and through GDPH, Lester said. Currently, we are in phase 1A+, vaccinating first responders, healthcare workers and those over 65 years of age.

GS faculty can expect to be vaccinated during the next phase along with essential workers, and students, being relatively low-risk can get the vaccine in the final phase of the rollout plan, according to GDPH’s website. 

When exactly these phases will begin remains unknown.

“All of our plans depend on supply which is completely unknown right now,” said Lester, “We have plans. We don’t have a timeline.”