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COVID boosters required at some Colorado colleges

"The vaccines, we know, are really the most important tool that we have," a university official said.

DENVER — A couple of Colorado universities are making changes to their vaccine requirements to include a booster shot. This week, Gov. Jared Polis(D-Colo.) said he'd like the CDC to change the definition of fully vaccinated to be three shots, rather than the initial two.

"The vaccines, we know, are really the most important tool that we have," Todd Cohen, with Regis University, said.

Regis decided to require boosters when students and faculty return to campus from winter break. University officials are giving everyone on campus until Feb. 1 to get their dose. As of right now, Cohen said 95% of the campus is vaccinated with the first two doses.

"We know with the Omicron variant and its high infection rate that it's incumbent upon us to encourage our folks to not only get vaccines but boosters so that we can provide a safe environment," Cohen said. "We expect high compliance, I think people get it."

South of town, the University of Denver's Sarah Watamura hopes students 'get it' there as well. 

"We are requiring the booster dose of the vaccine," Watamura explained. "The justification is the waning immunity we're seeing with the initial series and the big uptick in cases."

RELATED: Rise in COVID cases likely due to omicron variant, Colorado health officials say

DU is giving students until January 31 to get their vaccine. The deadline is mostly because doses in certain areas are really hard to find. As of right now, Watamura said about 97% of the campus is vaccinated with the first two doses.

"We have heard it's taking a few weeks for people to find a booster dose vaccine sometime in some areas," Waramura said. "If they are eligible we will have vaccine doses on campus so that access issue should not be a problem once they return in January."

9NEWS reached out to a couple of other universities to see if they planned on making changes. CU Boulder said as of right now, they are not requiring boosters but strongly encourage them. CSU said their pandemic team is discussing options, but right now the booster is not a requirement.

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