Students returning to Nevada’s college and university campuses this fall may be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Officials at Nevada System of Higher Education on Thursday said they’re drafting plans for the vaccination mandate, with some limited exceptions, for the fall semester.
“As a public system of higher education, and consistent with the University of California system of higher education, any COVID-19 vaccine mandated by NSHE is contingent upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first lifting the current Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) designation for available COVID-19 vaccines and requires approval from the Board of Regents and the State Board of Health,” NSHE officials said in a statement.
There is current debate over the legality of mandating the COVID-19 vaccine while it’s still approved only for emergency use. Other vaccine mandates apply only to those vaccines that have been fully approved by the FDA.
NSHE Chancellor Melody Rose said she intends to work with local and state health authorities to recommend that the Board of Regents approve a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine requirement should the EUA designation be removed. She advised students and families to be prepared for the possibility.
In the meantime, NSHE said it continues to strongly encourage all students and faculty to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
At University of Nevada, Reno, students at the School of Community Health Sciences are spearheading the “Vax the Pack” COVID-19 vaccination campaign to combat vaccine misinformation and increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake. They’re hosting a number of vaccination clinics through the summer targeting fraternities and sororities as well as Latinos.