AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – With UMass Amherst requiring students have the covid vaccine before the start of school, a spokesperson said 97 percent are in compliance with that policy.

Among the 97 percent, less than 2 percent have been exempted for religious or medical reasons.

“A lot of our parents have been asking if UMass is requiring students to get vaccinated which the answer is yes,” said Will Danforth, a tour guide at UMass.

Both Will and his colleague Julia Knigge were vaccinated in the spring. The school was able to verify their vaccination status through the Department of Public Health’s records.

“[I] did get an email though saying that they received my vaccination status and that I was good to go for this upcoming semester which was very exciting,” Julia told 22News.

For students who did not get the vaccine in Massachusetts, they had to upload a photo of their vaccine card to the UMass Patient Portal and then manually input it.

Every submission is then reviewed by the Student Immunization Program staff. If the document is suspected to be a fake, the University Health Service Medical Director takes a look.

While school officials work to ensure the final three percent are in compliance with the school’s policy, Will and Julia are looking forward to seeing things go back to normal.

“We’re all really, really excited to get back into the Mullins center and cheer on UMass Hockey,” said Will.

“To just see the student body back here on campus I’m just really excited about that,” Julia said.

Meantime, the University announced on Wednesday masks are required in public buildings on campus.

To learn more about UMass’s vaccine policy, click here.