Judge affirms Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement

NOW: Judge affirms Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement

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A ruling from a federal judge has affirmed Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccination plan for the fall 2021 semester overnight, Chuck Carney, Indiana University’s director of media relations, confirmed on Monday.

Judge Damon R. Leichty denied eight students' request for a preliminary injunction motion in a decision filed on July 18. 

A preliminary injunction motion means the students tried to prevent this mandate, but had to show they are likely to succeed based on their claims, they'll sustain irreparable harm and that the balance between the harm and public interest favor the remedy.

Carney released the following statement on the ruling:

A ruling from the federal court has affirmed Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccination plan designed for the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. We appreciate the quick and thorough ruling which allows us to focus on a full and safe return. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our campuses for the fall semester.

The current vaccination plan requires all students, staff and faculty to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 15.

The university has provided exemptions to their mandate. These include: religious exemptions, medical exemptions with documentation, medical deferrals (i.e. an active pregnancy, breastfeeding or those who have received an organ transplant in the past three to six months) or students that are 100% online.

Seven of the eight defendants in the case received exemptions, but objected to the mask and testing requirements.

Some students testified that they will not attend Indiana University based on the outcome of the ruling.

Constitutional law prevents a public university from mandating a vaccine, unless it is in legitimate interest of public health for the campus community. The decision goes into detail about how Indiana requires public universities to be vaccinated for six conditions (diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and meningococcal disease), with all but one having been required since 1993.

To view the whole policy, visit here

Contributions to this story also made by: Brenda Koopsen

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