(Pullman, WA) -- Washington State University is dropping the Coronavirus vaccine requirement for most students starting with the Summer 2023 academic session. The school says they made the decision to relax the rules on the vaccine after a recommendation from WSU's Infectious Disease and Public Health Advisory Committee. The change does not apply to WSU Health Sciences students.

“Requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for students was essential during the peak of the pandemic to help protect the health of our communities across the state,” said Joel Schwartzkopf, who oversees Cougar Health Services in his role as assistant vice chancellor of student health and well being. “Our understanding of the virus and the tactics to combat it are evolving and we continue to follow the best available evidence from local, state, and national public health authorities, just as we have done throughout the pandemic.”

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While the school continues to recommend students continue to get the vaccines, University leader acknowledge that a continued mandate would be challenging from a technical standpoint because of the numerous variables. The school offers as examples; student age, existing health conditions, when the student would have gotten the vaccine and previous infections of Covid-19.

In making it's decision, the University also factored in that infection rates are holding steady and health care facilities are able to keep up. It was last October that WSU suspended the Coronavirus vaccine requirement for most employees, contractors, and volunteers. That coincided with Governor Inslee's emergency orders being lifted.

The school maintains other vaccine requirements that were in place before the outbreak of Coronavirus. Those are unchanged.

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