Grinnell College President Anne Harris says the school has decided to require students to be vaccinated this fall.

“We did so after much, much, thinking. Much consultation with legal counsel. We believe we are in compliance with House File 889 — which is the prohibition of a vaccine passport bill,” Harris says. Harris says they don’t require public disclosure of a student’s vaccine status, so they can comply with the state law.

She believes Grinnell College is the only higher education institution in the state that will require vaccinations — and says it sends a message to students. “I want you to know you’ll be living with a student population that is 99 percent vaccinated,” according to Harris. “And I think that is going to matter a lot for the school staying open, for the college staying open, I think that is going to mean a lot for the community health of the town of Grinnell.”

Harris says the vaccination requirement is one of the key steps they are taking. “We’re combining that with masking in our buildings — and those two things very effectively should really cut down on transmission,” Harris says. Harris says you will not be required to show you are vaccinated to visit the Grinnell College campus.

(By Chris Varney, KGRN, Grinnell)