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On July 1, Dr. Spencer Gregg, director of the Student Health Center at UT, sent an email to UT students, faculty and staff stating that although being vaccinated for COVID-19 is not required to return back to campus in the fall, it is highly recommended and encouraged.

According to Gregg, the email was sent at this time due to the fact that becoming vaccinated can take up to six weeks, and it is suggested that students, faculty and staff start their vaccination process now if they would like to be fully vaccinated by the time the fall semester starts.

Gregg went on to describe the benefits of being vaccinated, such as not having to isolate, quarantine or be tested if they are exposed to COVID-19 and do not develop any symptoms. For those who are fully vaccinated, and are not showing any symptoms, they will not be asked to stay away from others.

Further, because vaccines are now widely available, UT will no longer provide isolation and quarantine housing for those who are exposed to COVID-19.

Gregg also mentioned that receiving the vaccine can help to ease anxiety, because individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to worry or stress about being around others.

As a doctor, Gregg said that he knows that vaccines are “safe, effective and free.”

[The COVID-19 vaccines] have been rigorously tested through clinical trials with thousands of participants and have been given to hundreds of millions of people. They are effective at preventing COVID-19, especially severe illness and death, and help reduce the risk of people spreading COVID-19. They are widely available and free regardless of your insurance status,” Gregg said.

Before signing off, Gregg suggested that individuals contact their doctor before deciding on getting the vaccine.

The two-dose Moderna vaccine and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine will continue to be administered on campus to those who are 18 and older, and for those receiving the Moderna vaccine, they are able to receive their second dose at UT even if they receive their first dose at home.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine at UT, click here.

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