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Utah’s Vaccine Requirements: From K-12 to College

If you’re a University of Utah student, then you’ve probably heard about the new vaccine requirements for students. All students at the University of Utah are now required to get vaccinated, not just against COVID-19, but against measles, mumps, and rubella as well. Getting vaccinated to attend school is not a new thing in Utah. In fact, vaccines have been required for students to attend school starting as a young child entering school in Utah for the first time. For children, the vaccines required to enter school are Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Haemophilus Influenza Type B, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Pneumococcal, and Varicella. These vaccines are aimed at preventing children from getting infected with a harmful disease, just like how the COVID-19 vaccine is created to prevent people ages 12 and up from getting infected with COVID-19.

Within Utah, K-12 schools are required to report every year how many of their students are fully vaccinated. If a student isn’t fully vaccinated, and did not submit the exemption forms for it, they will be suspended from the school until they are fully vaccinated. At the University of Utah, the punishment for not being fully vaccinated (if an exemption form is not filled out) is that the student will be unable to register for classes. The hold will be removed when the student gets fully vaccinated. Though the punishments differ slightly between K-12 education in Utah and the University of Utah, the overall message is the same — if a student wants to continue going to school, they have to be fully vaccinated. 

Luckily, if you’re a student at the University of Utah and are not fully vaccinated, but are looking to be, you can get vaccinated for free at the Student Health Center on campus or look for the COVID-19 vaccine clinics that take place all over campus. The University of Utah is looking to protect the safety and health of all its students by getting vaccinated. K-12 schools in Utah want to protect their students from getting infected with a life-threatening illness and the University of Utah is looking to do the same. 

Vaccine requirements are nothing new, and though each state has their own rules for requiring vaccines, each state requires vaccines against certain diseases for the safety of others. Getting vaccinated is not a scary thing. In the long run, it protects you and the people around you from getting infected with a disease that is preventable. There are a lot of concerns about getting vaccinated, but just know that vaccines are safe and effective, and as University of Utah students we should take on the responsibility of protecting our campus community through vaccines. If you want to know how to get fully vaccinated or confirm with the University of Utah that you are fully vaccinated, check out the Student Health Center and make an appointment with them. Vaccines are there to help us all, so I hope if you are able to get them you will!

Hi my name is Elnaz Tahmassebi and I am a Senior at the University of Utah studying International Studies and Health, Society and Policy!
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