Lenoir-Rhyne to require COVID-19 booster shot

Lenoir-Rhyne University will require the COVID-19 booster vaccine for all eligible faculty, staff and students on its Hickory, Asheville and Columbia campuses. Eligible individuals are those who are at least six months beyond the date of their second shot of the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine or two months past their Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The requirement goes into effect January 1, 2022, and individuals will have until January 31, 2022 (or as soon as they are eligible) to receive the booster. The requirement does not apply to those with an existing vaccine exemption. In addition to the booster shot requirement, the university will continue to require masks be worn anytime indoors, and weekly surveillance testing will resume for all faculty, staff and students.

LR is one of approximately 1,000 colleges and universities that required the COVID-19 vaccine for the 2021-22 academic year, and close to 99% of the entire LR community is now fully vaccinated. While COVID-19 cases were low during the fall semester, the university is concerned about the rapid spread of the omicron variant and the waning of the vaccine protection after six months. In addition, the university wants to continue to provide the full LR experience to our students: face-to-face learning, labs and clinical experiences, athletic activities, music and theater productions, and engaged learning inside and outside the traditional classroom environment.

“We are grateful that so many of our students, faculty and staff have already received the COVID-19 booster,’ said Dr. Fred Whitt, university president. “This requirement will help keep our communities in Hickory, Asheville and Columbia, healthy.”

View Coronavirus Communications Website

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