Some 134 students are no longer enrolled because they did not submit proof that they are vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus or get approved for medical or religious exemptions by the start of classes on Aug. 23, Mark Owczarski, the associate vice president for university relations, told Fox 8.
“The university does not know whether any of these students were not planning to return for reasons unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement,” Owczarski said, adding that attempts have been made to contact those students and that they are welcome to enroll again if they return with proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
An overwhelming 95 percent of 37,000 students at Virginia Tech have been vaccinated, according to the university’s website. Nearly 90 percent of the university’s employees are vaccinated, and those who aren’t have until Oct. 1 to get the vaccine, regardless of whether they teach remotely or in person.
Since Aug. 2, Virginia Tech has administered 2,799 tests for CCP virus infection, and only 43 of them returned positive, including one case of an employee. All individuals with an approved exemption for medical or religious reasons are required to get tested every week.
The announcement comes days after the University of Virginia (UVA) disenrolled 238 students, mostly undergraduates, for not complying with the public university’s COVID-19 vaccination policy.
“These students received multiple communications from Student Affairs via email, text, and phone calls reminding them to update their status by deadline,” a UVA spokesperson told student newspaper The Cavalier Daily.
University data shows that as of Aug. 18, over 96 percent of UVA students have shown proof that they are vaccinated, including 97 percent of students living on campus.
Earlier this month, Virginia Tech and UVA said they are working together to develop a new vaccine against the CCP virus, as well as its variants.
This new vaccine is expected to be effective against other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold, according to a UVA news release. It could cost only $1 for one dose.
“We are continuing to work very hard,” said Dr. Steven L. Zeichner at UVA’s health department. “Since those early results, we have been systemically testing how we can best administer the vaccine, either orally, intranasally, or intramuscularly, and how we can optimize the immune response with different versions of the pieces of the viruses that are used get the body to make an effective immune response against the virus.”