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Nevada System of Higher Education drafting COVID-19 vaccine mandate plans

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Posted at 4:55 PM, May 06, 2021

NEVADA (KTNV) — The Nevada System of Higher Education says it is currently drafting plans for a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students, with some limited exceptions, who are returning to campus in the fall semester.

NSHE says any COVID-19 vaccine mandates are contingent on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first lifting the current Emergency Use Authorization designation for available COVID-19 vaccines and approval from the Board of Regents and the State Board of Health.

If the EUA designation is removed, NSHE Chancellor Melody Rose intends to work with local and state health authorities to recommend that the Board of Regents approve a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine requirement, NSHE says.

NSHE is asking all students and their families to be prepared for this possibility.

Meanwhile, Touro University Nevada has already said it will require all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated ahead of a full return, a decision that the nonprofit private university says is "not without precedent."

Shelley Berkley, CEO of Touro University Western Division and former Nevada congresswoman, said in an emailed statement to 13 Action News:

Touro University’s primary responsibility is to provide the best possible education to the next generation of healthcare providers for Nevada. We also have a responsibility to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe. We are dealing with the worst pandemic in modern history.

As the state’s largest medical school, we are leading the fight against COVID-19. We provided free COVID testing at the beginning of the pandemic and have now transitioned to providing vaccines. Touro students and faculty have administered more than 10,000 vaccines in our community. We are requiring all students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated in preparation for a full return to campus. This decision is not without precedent. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, more than 200 private and public schools across the country are mandating the vaccine.

The Henderson campus is part of the Tuoro College and University system.

UNLV and CSN previously said they are not currently requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for students and staff and encouraged their community members to get the vaccine.

Both institutions follow guidelines set by the NSHE.

Across the country, BestColleges.com has a running list of colleges that have announced vaccine requirements.

This story was updated after receiving a response from the Nevada System of Higher Education to our inquiry about COVID-19 vaccinations.