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University of Notre Dame mandates bivalent COVID-19 jab to enroll for 2023-2024 academic year, 'including students studying or performing research remotely and/or virtually'

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JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images

The University of Notre Dame is requiring students to receive a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine shot in order to enroll in courses for the 2023-2024 academic year, including scholars who will be learning remotely.

"All students are required to be fully vaccinated or receive an exemption before arriving on campus for the 2022-23 academic year," the school states on a webpage about its student vaccination mandate. "Additionally, as an extension of the University’s existing COVID-19 vaccination requirement, the COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine is required of all students - undergraduate, graduate, and professional, including students studying or performing research remotely and/or virtually - as a condition of enrollment for the 2023-24 academic year."

The private educational institution, which describes itself as being "defined by its Catholic character," says that students may seek medical or religious exemptions to its COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

"Exemptions are determined on a case-by-case basis, and in each case must be supported by specific documentation," the school states. "Returning students who received a religious exemption from the University's vaccination requirement will automatically receive exemptions for the 2022-23 academic year and the 2023-24 academic year," the university also indicates. "Students on campus attending programs that last fewer than 7 days are exempt from the requirement, though vaccination is still strongly recommended."

Mary Frances Myler, whose Twitter profile indicates that she is a post-graduate fellow with the school's Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Government, tweeted an image of a message in which University Health Services Director Edward P. Junkins informed students about the bivalent booster mandate and said that those who had previously obtained a COVID-19 vaccination mandate exemption will also be exempt from the bivalent shot requirement.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky received a bivalent booster in September but later tested positive for COVID-19 in October. Walensky took a course of Paxlovid and then tested negative, but she then tested positive again later in October.

"Thank you to my family and CDC staff for support while I recovered from COVID-19. I am fortunate to have only had mild symptoms, which I credit to being up to date on my #COVID19 vaccines," Walensky said in a tweet posted to the @CDCDirector Twitter account earlier this month. "COVID-19 vaccines may not prevent every infection, but they do provide us important protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. My updated #COVID19 vaccine helped ensure my immune system was equipped to protect me against severe illness," she tweeted.

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