The University of Minnesota will not require COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty and staff before returning in the fall — despite criticism from faculty members that a mandate would better shield its five campuses from the infectious disease.
U President Joan Gabel announced the decision Monday but urged vaccination.
"The most effective strategy is access and information," she wrote in an e-mail to campus communities in the Twin Cities, Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Rochester. She added that "a 100% vaccination rate is not possible in any situation," even with a mandate.
The lack of a requirement drew condemnation from a group of faculty members, some of whom treated COVID-19 patients at M Health Fairview hospitals. The U already mandates other vaccinations, they argued, and could boost the immunization rate against COVID-19 to a level that could prevent a resurgence of infections or the emergence of more infectious variants of the coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease.