MarsBars/iStockBy MEREDITH DELISO and JOSH MARGOLIN, ABC News(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) — Rutgers University, New Jersey’s flagship state institution, said Thursday it will require COVID-19 vaccination for students before they arrive on campus this fall, possibly the first school in the country to announce a vaccine requirement.The school plans to welcome back all students to its three campuses this fall. The requirement will apply to all residential and commuter students, though there will be limited case-by-case exemptions for religious or medical reasons. Students enrolled in fully remote programs will not be required to be vaccinated.School officials said they were encouraged to require the vaccine for the fall after President Joe Biden declared earlier this month that all adults should be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations by the end of May.New Jersey’s vaccination rates so far have also been promising, Tony Calcado, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Rutgers, told ABC News. More than 3.8 million total vaccines have been administered in the state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The vast majority of students who attend Rutgers are from the state. With over 71,000 students, it’s the largest university in New Jersey.Vaccination will help play a key part in continuing to operate a safe campus and help return operations to a “pre-pandemic normal,” officials said.“They need to get some sense of normalcy back in their lives,” Calcado said. “They need to experience the college experience. We really firmly believe that.”The school wanted to announce the requirement now “so that we give all of our students and their families the opportunity to be able to make the right decision for themselves,” Calcado said.School officials believe Rutgers is the first university in the U.S. to require that students receive the COVID-19 vaccine.“I suspect that others will look at this and do the same thing,” Calcado said. “That’s just speculation on my part.”Students will be able to submit proof of vaccination in a school portal, where other vaccine records and medical information are already uploaded. Students under the age of 18 will be advised to receive the Pfizer vaccine, as it is approved for those ages 16 and up.University faculty and staff are not required to get the vaccine, though they have been strongly encouraged to receive it during the rollout.Rutgers has received approval from the state to administer the vaccine across its campuses as well, though is awaiting sufficient supply to start.The state is looking to ramp up distribution, as New Jersey has the highest rate of new COVID-19 cases per capita in the country. More contagious variants are likely to be a factor in the spread, health officials said.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Following the start of military action by Coalition-backed forces to take Hodeidah port back from Houthi militia, I call on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and prioritise the protection of civilians. We are in regular contact with the Coalition about the need to ensure that any military operations in and around Hodeidah are conducted in accordance with international humanitarian law, including on the protection of civilians, and do not disrupt commercial and humanitarian flows through the port. The Coalition have assured us that they are incorporating humanitarian concerns into their operational plans. It is vital to maintain the flow of food, fuel and medical supplies into Yemen. For their part the Houthis must not compromise port facilities or hinder the humanitarian response. The ongoing Coalition intervention in Yemen came at the request of the legitimate Government of Yemen after Houthi rebels took the Yemeni capital by force in 2014. Houthi forces have consistently failed to adhere to UN Security Council Resolutions, including by launching missile attacks against Saudi Arabia and shipping in the Red Sea. They have obstructed access for humanitarian supplies leading to significant suffering among civilians. It remains imperative to resume work towards a comprehensive political settlement. Lasting peace and stability in Yemen will require dialogue and negotiation. UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths is due to update the Security Council soon on his proposals for a negotiated settlement. We call upon all parties to throw their weight behind his efforts, for the sake of the Yemeni people and the security of Yemen’s neighbours. Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn For journalists Follow the Foreign Secretary on Twitter @BorisJohnson and Facebook Media enquiries Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Notes to EditorsThe UK is working with the UN, NGOs and the Coalition to respond to the humanitarian situation. The UK has committed £170 million to the UN’s Yemen Humanitarian Appeal for the financial year 2018/2019, making the UK the 4th largest donor.Further information Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: Email [email protected]