COLUMBIA, S.C. — The News 19 Vaccine Team checked in with some of the colleges and universities across South Carolina to find out if they will be requiring students to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Kaleah Capers is one of more than 50 students at Columbia College who received the coronavirus vaccine on Monday.
"I just decided to get vaccinated," said Capers. "I just wanted to do my part on campus to stay healthy and minimize the spread of COVID."
The school partnered with Lexington Medical Center to help administer the Pfizer vaccine.
Columbia College President Tom Bogart says students, faculty and staff who received their vaccine on Monday received helped to sign up for their second appointment if they were returning home for the summer.
"A lot of people don't have transportation other than their feet and this gives them access," said President Bogart. "Access to important services is a key part of the Columbia College mission."
With other schools considering requiring the coronavirus vaccine for their students, the Vaccine Team asked President Bogart what their thoughts are at this time.
"Public health guidance is evolving rapidly and public policy is still influx. So we're not at a position right now to say for sure what we're going to do," explained President Bogart. "What I can say for sure is the more people get vaccinated, the quicker we can move to that world that we were in before March of 2020."
Newberry College says the requirement is being discussed at this time but no decision has been made.
South Carolina State University says they are strongly encouraging everyone on campus to get the vaccine. They said in a statement, "If that information changes or updates, we will share accordingly. At this point, vaccination is not mandatory."
Columbia International University says they have not made a decision as of yet.
Benedict College sent us a statement saying, "Recognizing the uncommon sensitivity and the inherently personal nature of the decision to take the Covid-19 vaccine, Benedict College has not made the decision to require students to be vaccinated for the Fall 2020 semester. While we strongly encourage vaccination, it will not be mandated. The College will continue to follow the guidance provided by the CDC and will re-emphasize our campus Covid-19 safety plan. "
News 19 reached out to the University of South Carolina, Clemson University and several other school in the area but have not heard back. WLTX will provide more updates once it becomes available.