COVID-19 vaccination is strongly encouraged but optional

Iowa State strongly encourages all students and employees to opt to be vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as they're able, but vaccination won't be a condition of employment or enrollment.

State Board of Regents president Michael Richards announced during the board's April 14 meeting that Iowa's public universities will not mandate students, faculty and staff be vaccinated for the 2020-21 academic year.

New entries added April 14 to ISU's vaccination FAQ further clarify that a COVID-19 vaccination can't be required for participation in courses, workplaces, research sites, workshops, seminars or other university activities.

The residence department won't ask students living in campus housing about their vaccination status, and while the university has the authority to ask faculty and staff about whether they've been vaccinated, supervisors should only do so at the direction of senior leaders, according to the FAQ.

It is possible that a COVID-19 vaccination could be needed in the future to participate in certain university programs. A host country on an international trip might require it, for example.

Iowa State follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Iowa Department of Public Health guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations and recommends getting vaccinated, as immunization reduces the spread and severity of COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is crucial for returning to pre-pandemic conditions on and beyond campus.

Go to the university's vaccination webpage for the latest information on vaccines. Also see Inside Iowa State's April 15 update on the large-scale vaccination clinic planned on campus.