LSU campus

LSU campus

LSU students will likely be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine once it receives full federal approval, according to a message from the university’s new president.

In a video message to students and employees, LSU President William Tate said university leaders are expecting approval of a COVID-19 vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “perhaps even in weeks.”

“We plan to mandate the vaccine at that time,” Tate said.

Tate urged students who have not been vaccinated to consider doing so ahead of the possible mandate.

“I want to encourage you to take advantage of what science has offered us,” Tate said. “An opportunity to experience a new normal, where we can engage together without the anxiety and worry of actually becoming extremely ill.”

Tate said the university will provide regular updates on the status of the pandemic on campus, including the results of wastewater testing and monthly testing of unvaccinated students.

“Our goal is for you to understand what is happening with your neighbors on campus and the community at large,” Tate said.

Earlier this month, Tate announced that students who don’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 will be required to submit a negative test on a monthly basis during the fall semester. He also said mask wearing will be required indoors and within 50 feet of building entrances.

This week, Tate said LSU students will have to provide one of the following items upon arrival to campus:

-- Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 5 days prior to arrival on campus

-- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

-- Proof of a positive COVID-19 test result no more than 90 days prior to arrival on campus

The fall semester for LSU begins Monday, Aug. 23.

To view LSU’s updated COVID-19 safety protocols, click here.

Below is the letter Tate sent to students and employees on Thursday:

“Welcome to all of our new and returning students. Our collective experience this academic year depends on our ability to navigate the pandemic. You share in the responsibility of lowering our risk of disease spread. As I say in this video message, we expect the FDA to fully authorize one or more of the COVID vaccines in the next few weeks, at which point we will act swiftly to mandate it at LSU. In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to go ahead and get vaccinated now to protect yourself, your peers, and the faculty and staff who will be alongside you through your academic journey.

“We look forward to seeing you soon.”

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