Georgia public universities won’t mandate COVID-19 vaccine

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FILE – In this Thursday, April 8, 2021 file photo, Georgia Tech employee Adam Jackson receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination at the Vaccination Site on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The University System of Georgia announced Thursday, May 13, 2021 that students and employees will not be required to be vaccinated for the start of the fall 2021 semester.. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s 26 public universities and colleges do not currently plan to require students, faculty or staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the fall.

The University System of Georgia made the announcement Thursday in its guidance to schools. The guidance says fully vaccinated people won’t have to socially distance or wear masks, while unvaccinated people will be “strongly encouraged” to keep doing both.

The university system says it drafted the guidance after consulting with the state Department of Public Health and it could change.

More than 350 colleges and universities nationwide have mandated COVID-19 vaccinations, including at least six private colleges and universities in Georgia.

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