While Governor Pritzker and his administration are saying "Hey! Get yourself vaccinated against COVID-19 and you could win a pile of money in a vax lottery," The University of Illinois is saying "You want to be a student here? Get vaccinated."

The governor and his people apparently see themselves as the carrot, and the University of Illinois is looking in the mirror and seeing a stick.

The U of I is joining Columbia College, DePaul University, Lewis University, Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, Roosevelt University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Chicago in requiring returning students to have received the COVID-19 vaccination(s).

There are a couple of "howevers" to this story, though. For one thing, according to the U of I website, there are no plans to require the COVID-19 vaccine for faculty and staff.

Secondly, if you (or your college student offspring) are among those who would prefer not to get the COVID-19 vaccination, the University of Illinois will not be turning you away and telling you to go home.


Individuals who are not able to be vaccinated and/or who have not had their record submitted and verified will be required to participate in the COVID-19 testing program and to continue wearing a face covering.

We acknowledge that some individuals have health conditions or other reasons why they cannot be vaccinated. For those individuals, the COVID-19 testing program and face coverings will continue to be required.

The U of I COVID-19 information page goes on to say that individuals who plan to work or study remotely will be exempt from the vaccination mandate.

Other Illinois public universities have not yet said whether a COVID-19 vaccination will be mandated this fall. Illinois State University has announced it won't require students get shots, but will ask them to take part in regular testing.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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