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William & Mary students, staff will have to get a booster shot for the spring semester

Amy Sebring, chief operating officer and COVID-19 director at W&M, made the announcement as Virginia saw record-breaking new case counts three days in a row.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — William & Mary announced Friday it will require students to have COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for the spring 2022 semester, due to the recent jump in cases in Virginia.

Amy Sebring, chief operating officer and COVID-19 director at the university, made the announcement as Virginia saw record-breaking new case counts three days in a row, with 17,618 new infections reported on Friday.

In a letter to the campus community, Sebring said all eligible students and employees will be required to show proof of getting a COVID-19 booster vaccination on or before Jan. 18.

RELATED: COVID-19 Live Updates | Over 17k new cases reported in Virginia, over 19k in North Carolina

According to the CDC, eligibility means six months past the Pfizer or Moderna series or two months past the J&J series.

Students who won't comply with the requirement will be disenrolled for the spring semester. Employees who won't comply will be placed on 30 days leave without pay, followed by termination if they don't comply after that period.

Those who aren't eligible for a booster shot will be required to obtain and record booster proof within one month of eligibility.

"As we approach 2022, I know this is not how any of us wanted to start the new year. With that said, COVID-19 remains a part of our lives," Sebring said. "As we shift from a pandemic to an endemic state, we will need to retool in a way that allows us to live with the reality of the virus."

William & Mary's spring semester is set to begin on Jan. 26. 

More information about the university's COVID-19 policy can be found on its website.

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