Pennsylvania wants college students vaccinated by end of semester

PITTSBURGH — College students in Pennsylvania are being encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before the end of the spring semester.

Pennsylvania’s departments of health and education want all colleges and universities in the state to work with local providers to make sure students have opportunities to get vaccinated before they leave for the summer.

Everyone over the age of 16 is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania. Students do not have to be residents of Pennsylvania to receive the vaccine in the state.

Education officials say allowing everyone to get vaccinated can guarantee a return to full-time in-person instruction. In addition, students can travel home safely.

The push for college students to get vaccinated comes after the University of Pittsburgh experienced a spring surge of COVID-19 that included the presence of the U.K. variant.

“I definitely think it’ll be beneficial for Pitt students because if we wanna go back to normal in the fall, it’s definitely a step in the right direction,” Alison Chilcott, a Pitt senior, said.

Pitt students said it has been a tough year and they’re looking for some relief.

“I think that this, like, demographic of, like, teenagers to adolescents is very prone to spreading the virus, so I think that it’s very wise to get these people vaccinated to sort of contribute to herd immunity and also to cut down on that spread a little bit,” Sarah Suchko, a Pitt junior, said.

Channel 11 News asked Pitt about any plans for clinics, and the university released the following statement:

“At this time, we have received a limited number of vaccines from the PA Department of Health and Federal Pharmacy Program. While we stand ready to vaccinate the Pitt community when we receive doses, we do not know when quantities will start to increase. We encourage every member of the Pitt community to get vaccinated when it is available to them.”