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2 Minnesota colleges will not require COVID vaccinations this fall, but it could change

Both St. Catherine University and Minnesota State University-Mankato say they are not planning on requiring COVID vaccinations this fall, but things could change.

By the end of the month, every state will open up COVID vaccinations to anyone 16 and older.

With the vaccine age requirements widened, and close living corridors, some colleges are requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for students wanting to return to campus this fall.

Duke University is the latest school to require proof of vaccination. The North Carolina school joins 11 other colleges and universities around the country with the same requirement.

In Minnesota, both St. Catherine University in St. Paul and Minnesota State University-Mankato say at this time, they are not planning on requiring COVID vaccinations this fall, though things could change.

Dr. Amy Kelly is the medical director at St. Catherine and says they are having conversations almost every day regarding COVID vaccinations.

“The vaccine is, as I'm sure you're well aware, is under emergency use authorization which alters legally our ability to mandate or require a vaccine,” Dr. Kelly said. “One of the things I would say, has been an issue already, is we have students, faculty and staff who really want to get vaccinated, and we fall in the low-priority group so we have yet to have vaccine allocated to colleges and universities in Minnesota.”

RELATED: If parents are vaccinated, and kids aren't, what is safe to do this summer?

David Jones is the Vice President for student affairs and enrollment management at MSU-Mankato, and he says the university is working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health and has not made the move to require the COVID vaccine.

"It is our hope, of course for us, that every Maverick tries to make the best decision that they can to take care of other Mavericks – for many of us that is going to mean making the choice to receive the vaccine,” Jones said.

RELATED: US colleges divided over requiring student COVID-19 vaccinations

The University of Minnesota sent a statement reading, "The University has not made a final decision regarding COVID-19 vaccine requirements. At this time, the University continues to actively track and follow federal and state laws and guidance regarding the use, administration and approval of vaccines. We trust that the legal and regulatory landscape will become more developed in the coming months as the vaccines become more accessible."

St. Thomas, Hamline and St. Cloud State all said that they are currently in the planning process and would not say whether or not there would be a COVID vaccine requirement.

Vaccine requirement is nothing new for colleges – many already require at least one vaccine for enrollment

It is worth noting that public schools would need permission from the state to mandate COVID vaccines from students.

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