RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University are now requiring all students, faculty and staff to get the COVID-19 booster shot before they head back to campus for the spring semester.

Both schools are joining an increasing number of universities and colleges across the state requiring, not only full covid vaccination, but booster shots as well for the return to campus.

J’Auana Robinson, a basketball player at VSU, is not happy that she needs a COVID booster shot just to get back in her dorm. However, she said she understands it.

“I don’t really like it. I feel like we should have the option of getting it but I do understand for the safety,” Robinson said.

She said COVID cases are soaring within her team’s basketball division.

“We went through the first semester without no cases. As soon as we come back from break, everybody has cases,” Robinson said.

Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia and Norfolk State University have also added a booster mandate.

VSU sent 8News the following statement about its new booster requirement:

Virginia State University continues to monitor the trend in data regarding the spread of the new omicron COVID-19 variant. Currently, full vaccination combined with the booster is the most effective strategy available to reduce the spread of the virus. Our decision to require the COVID-19 booster shot and re-entry testing for our students and employees is based on scientific recommendations and on our priority of keeping our campus community healthy and safe. Our decision last semester to require full vaccination proved successful as we saw a less than one percent positivity rate throughout the semester. We hope and believe that incorporating a similar and more aggressive strategy in the upcoming spring semester will prove equally successful. We remain prepared to adjust as necessary.” 

While the CDC considers a person fully vaccinated after two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, however, the agency strengthened its recommendations after the arrival of omicron last month. The CDC now encourages all adults to get a booster.

Still, some students, like Lamiyh Mclean, wish it was their choice.

“Honestly I didn’t really want to get the booster shot because I was already forced to get the vaccination,” she said. “I just feel like they’re forcing another thing on us but at the same time I understand because they just want us to be safe.”

VCU students and staff will have to report their booster shot by Feb. 1, and VSU will hold booster clinics on campus for students and staff between Jan.11 and  16.