LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska colleges and universities are encouraging students to get vaccinated for the coronavirus, but they won't require the shots before students return to campus in the fall.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Nebraska State College System and the state’s largest private colleges all said this week that they have no plans to require students or staff to get vaccinated, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.

“We do think they are a good idea, and we would encourage people to get vaccinated,” UNL spokeswoman Leslie Reed said. “But we don’t plan to mandate that.”

Private colleges, including Hastings College and Nebraska Wesleyan, Midland, Doane and Concordia universities, also said they have no plans to mandate vaccines.

Doane, Midland and Hastings all hosted vaccine clinics for students on Wednesday to make it easy for them to get their shots.

Rachel Czerny, director of campus wellness at Doane’s campus in Crete, said the university will treat students who have been fully vaccinated in accordance with recommendations from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This excludes them from campus testing and quarantine protocols unless they become symptomatic,” she said.

Doane plans to continue requiring everyone on campus to wear masks “until we are confident that an adequate amount of individuals on campus have been vaccinated,” Czerny said.

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