University of Minnesota: 97% of students are vaccinated before mandate deadline

When students returned to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus last month, it was with the understanding they had to be vaccinated by October 8. Now that the deadline is here, university officials say most students have complied with the vaccine mandate.

"I filled mine out yesterday. They sent me a reminder email," said sophomore Max Moffor. "I've been vaccinated since April got my first dose. May, my second dose."

Students have until Friday to submit a COVID-19 immunization vaccination form certifying they have been vaccinated, or ask for a religious or medical exemption. University officials say as of two weeks ago, 75% of all students had filled out the form, and as of Monday, roughly 97% of those students had been vaccinated. 

"It makes me feel a little bit safer going into classrooms and knowing people are wearing masks, but they are also vaccinated so there's that extra layer of protection," sophomore Molly Peters said.

University officials say students who don't make the deadline won't be kicked out of class right away. But a hold will be placed on their record, so they won't be able to register for any courses in the future until they comply.

"From my perspective, I think they should get vaccinated," sophomore Eyad Alshabibi said. "I want them to get vaccinated, but that is their choice. I can't do anything to make them get vaccinated."

Students we talked with say getting the vaccine won't completely eliminate the risk of contracting the virus, but it’s a small price to pay to be back on campus instead of learning online again this year.

"I hope COVID ends soon. I'm sick of it," one student added.