By Lisa Cilli

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A growing number of US colleges and universities are requiring students to get COVID-19 vaccinations before heading back to campus in the fall, but it is not a mandate in Florida.

So far, at least 14 colleges have said vaccinations will be required, according to a CNN tally — and that number is expected to grow.

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However, in Florida, vaccinations are not required, only “encouraged.”

CBSMiami.com reached out to the State University System of Florida, which oversees the state’s publicly funded higher education system.

“The State University System of Florida and its 12 institutions strongly encourage all university students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated if they can do so,” said the SUS in an emailed statement.

Nationwide, universities implementing vaccination policies include Rutgers, Cornell, Brown, the University of Notre Dame, Northeastern, Syracuse University, Ithaca in New York, and Fort Lewis College in Colorado, but will make exceptions for medical or religious reasons.

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On April 1, Nova Southeastern University (NSU), a private university in Davie, announced it will require all students and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 when full, in-person classroom instruction begins in the fall.

However, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has since signed an executive order saying that vaccines are available but not mandated and prohibited any government entity or business from requiring a vaccine passport.

On April 8, NSU posted an update that it is now reviewing the executive order and how it relates to its vaccine requirements.

“Additionally, the President’s Office has been hearing from the NSU community in the past few days — some expressing support and others sharing your questions and concerns. All of this is being considered thoughtfully and we will have more details for you by next week,” a statement from the university said.

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