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Bucknell University to require COVID-19 vaccine for students

Bucknell University officials announced that all students must be vaccinated before they return to campus in the fall.

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Students at Bucknell University spent the day studying for final exams or packing to go home for the summer. When students return to Lewisburg in the fall, they are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

"The safety is very high, and the benefits are even higher, particularly for college students," Dr. Catherine O'Neil said.

Dr. Catherine O'Neil is Bucknell University's Medical Director. She says students will be required to be vaccinated prior to returning for the fall semester unless they have an approved exemption.

"We're really looking forward to being able to move forward into a more normal college experience with the complete on-campus experience, so vaccination was an important piece of that," O'Neil said.

Bucknell joins a list of more than 300 colleges and universities requiring the vaccine for students.

"We're all required to get different types of vaccines, so I think that it makes sense and it's fine, and I think it's a good thing to help us get back to normal," Bethany Fitch said.

Newswatch 16 spoke with several students who think the requirement is a good thing.

"I am 100% for it. I feel that it makes a safer environment for everyone, and it allows everyone to get back to in-person classes," Katelyn Shakir said.

"I think it's very important to preserve the health and safety of all of our student body. It makes me feel comfortable about coming back and getting back to normal here on campus," Sam Miller said.

The new requirement goes into effect on August 1st.