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Claflin University to require COVID vaccine for students and staff

Both students and staff have to be vaccinated by January 2022.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Claflin University is requiring students and staff to be fully vaccinated beginning January 2022. That requirement will also apply to homecoming in November.  

"Because of the number of students without the vaccines, we had to cut back on the events we wanted to have," said Dr. Leroy A. Durant, Claflin's VP for Student Development & Services. "The student leaders said they wanted to mandate vaccines."

Durant says everyone will also have to provide a negative COVID test 72 hours to participate in any event. The Vice President for Student Development & Services says the school's mask mandate will still be in place even with the vaccine requirement.

"We don't want to be a school that is having a mass event to contribute to the issues we are dealing with," Durant said.

RELATED: Claflin incentivizing students with $500

November 15th is the last day students to get fully vaccinated if they plan to return to campus for the spring semester, and staff has until December 17th.

"I feel like it's a good thing for the safety of the community and campus community," Claflin senior Darkon Hudson said. "However, I also feel like it's a bad thing because it takes away the personal choice of the students."

Credit: Devin Johnson

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"I say it's a safe thing, in my opinion," said Aaron Oliver, Claflin Senior. 

The institution does have exemptions outlined by the CDC for those who don't want the shot. Students News 19 talked to agree that the mandate will allow them to have some of their events back.

"It would not be a college experience," Oliver said. "It would be dull with no events. That's what sold me on coming here."  

RELATED: When will boosters be approved for Moderna, Johnson & Johnson?

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