Higher ed students face vaccination requirement to register this week for spring classes

Higher ed students face vaccination requirement to register this week for spring classes
An incoming freshman at the University of Nevada, Reno, wears a mask in the campus's quad. Image: Bianca Wright

LAS VEGAS–Registration for spring classes at any of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s (NSHE) seven institutions began this week, for the first time with a new requirement—vaccination for COVID-19.

The state’s Board of Health in August unanimously approved mandatory vaccinations for NSHE students after NSHE’s Board of Regents argued that the responsibility to impose the requirement wasn’t theirs.

Some exemptions are approved, such as for students with medical conditions or religious beliefs. Online only students are also exempt from the requirement.

Registration for spring classes opened Nov. 1, which was the deadline set for students to comply. However, registration continues into January, giving students who’ve yet to get vaccinated time to get their shots before being shut out of spring classes.

“Receiving the COVID-19 vaccination is the scientifically proven most effective way to protect the health and safety of the NSHE community and end the pandemic,” NSHE Chancellor Melody Rose said.

At Nevada’s two largest campuses—University of Nevada, Reno and University of Nevada, Las Vegas—COVID-19 cases began to rise in late July when students and faculty started returning to campuses. That trend reversed in September when the vaccination requirement appeared inevitable.

Students at UNR and UNLV can register for classes with no late fees through Jan. 14, 2022. Those registering at any of NSHE’s other colleges have until Jan. 24, 2022 to meet the deadline and register.

Those we aren’t vaccinated can still complete their fall classes. Masking is required on all campuses.