PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State University is the latest institution of higher education in Virginia to require COVID-19 vaccinations. Some full-time staff were already included under Gov. Ralph Northam’s vaccine mandate for state employees, because the historically Black university is state-supported.
But the new policy goes beyond the state mandate, requiring the vaccine for all staff, not just those covered under the mandate, and students as well.
The university will require students and staff to submit proof of vaccination, or apply for a religious or medical exemption. Those who seek an exemption will be administered COVID tests twice a week.
According to the university’s official vaccination policy, students and staff who refuse to comply will face disciplinary action, including removal from on-campus housing for students.
And VSU has another tool up its sleeve to encourage everyone to get the shot: a “financial incentive” for fully vaccinated students and faculty. According to the policy, students who submit proof of full vaccination will receive “a $500 incentive,” and faculty/staff will receive $1000. The policy does not specifywhat form the incentive will take.