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Lenoir-Rhyne to require COVID-19 vaccines beginning fall 2021 semester

The North Carolina university joins a coalition of more than 500 schools nationwide requiring the vaccine.
Credit: Lenior-Rhyne University

HICKORY, N.C. — Lenior-Rhyne University is requiring all faculty, staff and students to get the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the fall 2021 semester. 

The university made the announcement on Friday, and joins more than 500 colleges and universities across the globe requiring the vaccine. 

"In an effort to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the Lenoir-Rhyne campus and the broader community, LR will require the COVID-19 vaccine for all faculty, staff and students beginning with the fall 2021 semester,"  a news release on the university's website stated. 

After extensive discussions and careful consideration, Lenoir-Rhyne has decided to require the COVID-19 vaccine for all...

Posted by Lenoir-Rhyne University on Friday, June 25, 2021

"We know that our students are eager to return to the full LR experience with in-person classes and robust social opportunities," said Dr. Fred Whitt, president of the university, in the news release. "Requiring the COVID-19 vaccine will ensure that our campus can return to full in-person classes, events and gatherings without physical distancing, masks, weekly testing and quarantine after exposure. Our students come from many different areas of the United States and other countries, and we want to do our part as a campus community to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our LR community and the broader community."

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According to LR, the vaccine process should be completed no later than August 16. Completing the process means that two weeks must have passed from receiving the second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks from the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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"The university will consider requests for exemption based on either documented medical reasons or adherence to sincerely held bona fide religious beliefs. More than 1,000 members of the LR community, including faculty, staff and students, were vaccinated in the spring 2021 semester," LR said in the release. 

Classes for the fall semester start Aug. 23.

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