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Chancellor Douglas Girod met with University Senate members to address the possibility of the university requiring members of the community to be vaccinated come fall.

In an appearance before the University Senate Thursday, University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod said it is unlikely KU will require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus in the fall.

Girod cited the fact that the COVID-19 vaccines available now have only been given an ‘Emergency Use Authorization’ by the FDA.

“The challenge right now is that none of these vaccines are FDA approved,” Girod said. “It’s fairly hard from a legal perspective to require something that doesn’t carry an FDA approval.”

Girod said it was possible for some areas of campus to require the vaccine, but it was unlikely there would be a requirement for everyone. 

“We may have some pockets of campus where it is easier to require it, such as Student Housing,” he said. “I had a conversation with the health system last night about if they are going to require it or not, and they do not see requiring it in the near future.”

While he said it was unlikely it would be required, Girod also encouraged everyone to get the vaccine.

“I certainly will encourage anybody and everybody to get the vaccine,” he said. “There’s spots open right now.”

Girod said that over 60% of faculty and almost 30% of students have already received the COVID-19 vaccine. He laid out KU’s goal when it comes to vaccinating students as well.

“Our goal is to make it available for all of our students to be vaccinated before they leave at the end of the semester,” Girod said.

Girod also provided an update on the report from the Task Force on Community-Responsive Public Safety, saying different offices are working to implement the recommendations outlined in the report.

“We spent the break looking through those [recommendations] and they all look very reasonable to me,” Girod said.

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