University of Utah to require COVID-19 vaccine for students

Sep 2, 2021, 1:16 PM | Updated: 1:50 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah announced all students must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September or a hold will be placed on students’ accounts, which will prevent them from registering for spring semester classes.

Campus was busy Wednesday night – just the way the students like it.

“Last year I wasn’t on campus a lot but when I did come to campus it was completely dead,” said Alyssa Henrie, who is a sophomore at the U. but said she feels like a freshman.

She spent the end of her senior year of high school and first year in college at home, learning online. She was thrilled when she saw the email requiring a COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s kind of nice to hear that we might have a chance that will be normal again,” she said.

Even with a mask covering most of her face, you can hear it in her voice and see it in her eyes – she is happy to be on campus.

Student Health Center Director Mark Pfitzner held a briefing discussing the decision to require the vaccine.

“Last Monday, the FDA gave full approval to the Pfizer COVID vaccine. With that, then the university decided to require this vaccination,” Pfitzner said.

The requirement has exemptions included, but most students will have to show proof of vaccination by Sept. 30 or a hold will be placed on their records and they won’t be eligible to register for classes next semester.

The school said details on the requirement — and the process for requesting an exemption based on health conditions, religious or personal beliefs — will be released next week.

Several Utah colleges to require COVID-19 vaccines for students

Ty Nishikawa, a freshman from California, said he’s excited about the requirement.

“I was actually excited about it, just because I want to be able to interact with others safely,” he said.

His friend Wesley Bryant has been “vaccine-hesitant,” but he said the recent FDA approval, combined with the chance to stay in person, will push him to get the shot as soon as possible.

“I haven’t gotten vaccinated yet cuz it hasn’t been a rush or a priority,” Bryant said. “Now Pfizer is FDA approved, that’ll give me an even better reason to get it.”

As a senior this fall, Connor Allain said the thought of closing campus again would be devastating, even though he knows those who oppose the vaccine are going to be mad.

“I definitely think it’s going to be a huge uproar from the people that are just refusing,” Allain said. “A lot of people that I do know are like, ‘I’m never getting the vaccination.’”

But he shared the sentiment shared by many on campus.

“I think if you ask any single student about being back, I mean I’m a senior and after a year and a half of not being on campus, how happy everyone is, just to be back and feel like a normal college student,” he said.

Utah State University and Weber State University also announced a COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Utah Valley University and Westminster College also require students to be vaccinated, while Brigham Young University is asking for students’ vaccination status and encouraged all to get vaccinated.

KSL 5 TV Live


Julianna Preece goes through the mountain of medical documents she's acquired for her health condit...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Herriman couple is suing CVS, says 5x Covid vaccine dose mistake caused health problems

A couple is suing a Utah CVS vaccination clinic, saying a nurse’s mistake led to the wife receiving five times the normal COVID-19 vaccine dose and caused serious health issues she’s still dealing with today.

9 days ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result are photographed in New York, April...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

20 days ago

FILE - Doses of the anti-viral drug Paxlovid are displayed in New York, Aug. 1, 2022. The COVID-19 ...

Amanda Seitz, Associated Press

COVID-19 treatments to enter the market with a hefty price tag

The COVID-19 treatments millions of have taken for free from the federal government will enter the private market next week with a hefty price tag.

1 month ago

Toddlers dance during play time at Living Water Child Care and Learning Center as center director J...

Associated Press

Child care programs just lost thousands of federal dollars. Families, providers scramble to cope

After two years of receiving federal subsidies, 220,000 child care programs across the country were cut off from funding Saturday Utah

2 months ago

Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Assembly, right, announces the winner of the 2023 Nobel Pri...

David Keyton and Mike Corder

Nobel in medicine goes to 2 scientists whose work enabled creation of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19

Two scientists have won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries that enabled the development of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 and could be used in the future to create other shots.

2 months ago

child in doctor's office...

Mike Anderson

Flu, COVID cases expected to rise in Utah

The number of COVID-19 diagnoses continues to stay above what we saw over the summer but now some doctors are starting to see early signs of the flu as well.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

University of Utah to require COVID-19 vaccine for students