By Raetta Holdman

(CBS4) – Rutgers University became the first in the nation to require students to get COVID-19 vaccinations in order to attend classes on campus. CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida discussed the decision on CBSN Denver during his weekly question and answer session.

He pointed out universities and colleges already routinely require students to have MMR (measles, mumps & rubella) and meningitis vaccinations.

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When it comes to the coronavirus, Hnida pointed out the vaccine would offer protection to more than just the students.

(credit: CBS)

“College students don’t have this superhuman immunity against COVID,” he explained, “even though the tendency is for that age group to have less severe disease. But there is no question we still see severe disease in that age group.”

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“Even if the illness is mild or asymptotic, young people are more likely to become long haulers, so there is personal concern there.”

“Then you take a look at the fact if college students are not vaccinated, there is a risk of them bringing COVID out into the community off campus as well as bringing it home to their families.”

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Hind said at this point it is strongly recommended college students be vaccinated in Colorado and universities across the country, but that could change to a vaccination mandate if there were outbreaks on campus or within a region. When CBS4 contacted colleges and universities within the state, most agreed with Hnida saying they are strongly recommending the vaccines but not requiring them at this point.

Raetta Holdman