Illinois Governor Lifts Vaccine Mandates for College Students, Staff

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said COVID-19 vaccines are the best tool to fight the pandemic and urged all state residents to get vaccinated.
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  • Pritzker won't reissue COVID-19 vaccine mandates for higher education employees and students, the state announced.
  • The move comes as part of a "plan to carefully unwind the state's COVID-19 executive orders," according to the state.
  • COVID-19 vaccine mandates will remain in place in K-12 schools.

Illinois' vaccine mandate for college students and staff won't be reissued, according to a release from Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Pritzker has been gradually scaling back his pandemic-related executive orders in recent months, according to the release. Although the vaccine mandates for higher education employees and students won't be reissued, they will remain in place in K-12 schools and other facilities.

Pritzker urged state residents to get vaccinated in the rescinding of the mandates.

"Vaccination continues to be the number one tool we have to fight COVID-19, and I'm proud that so many Illinoisans have taken advantage of this life-saving tool," Pritzker said in the release. "I continue to urge all Illinoisans to make sure they're up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the most at-risk populations and those unable to be vaccinated are protected from the serious side effects of this disease."

He also said that he will "relax some requirements while continuing to protect the most vulnerable and ensuring we can get every federal dollar our residents are eligible to receive" going forward.

"As we move into this next phase, we are building on the success of our campus leaders, staff, faculty, and students over the past two years in keeping our campuses safe, while keeping students on their path to credentials and degrees, especially our students of color and low-income students who were most impacted," Ginger Ostro, the executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, said in the release.

Pritzker's relaxing of COVID-19 protocols leaves vaccine mandates up to individual institutions. The Chicago Tribunereported the state will see a mixed bag of vaccine requirements in the fall.