ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — More than three years after Michigan’s first documented case of COVID-19, Grand Valley State University has dropped its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students and staff.

In the wake of the vaccine’s approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, GVSU was one of many universities across the country to require students and staff to be vaccinated to return to campus as a public health safety measure.

However, with the virus now entrenched across the world and with widespread immunity built up — through vaccinations and past infections — university officials no longer believe it is necessary.

“As our global understanding of COVID-19 has evolved and our public health efforts appropriately shift, GVSU continues with transitional plans,” the university said in a statement.

Students in health-related programs may still need to be vaccinated in order to complete internships or other training.

Starting next fall, all incoming first-year and transfer undergraduate students will be asked to report their immunization status to “offer increased protection from many vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks.” While not mandatory, upper-class and graduate students can also report their vaccination status.

The common vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella), meningitis, meningitis B, Tdap (tetanus, diptheria and pertussis) and chicken pox. All are available at the Campus Health Center in Allendale and the GVSU Family Health Center in downtown Grand Rapids.