Can a university ask for proof of vaccination? Expert weighs in

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Can a university ask for proof of vaccination? That’s question many are asking after Indiana University (IU) announced that it will require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated before the upcoming semester.

The university says that students, faculty and staff will need to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 15 or when they first return to campus. This would mean their second dose must be given by Aug. 1. IU says that will allow the university to lift most restrictions come this fall.

This has raised concern from many on whether a university can require that a person have a certain vaccine. WANE 15 reached out to Samuel Bolinger of Samuel L Bolinger & Associates in December 2020 to learn more.

“Bottom line business necessity pretty much currently drives the EEOC as well as the OSHA standards, yes the best thing to do currently under the law is for the employer to request or highly recommended the shot,” Boligner said “Probably not a good idea to simply to cut down a mandate and say do it or else.”

WANE 15 reached out to Purdue University Fort Wayne, Trine University and Manchester University and received the following statements.

“Purdue Fort Wayne believes getting a COVID vaccination is one of the most important steps we can take to help bring an end to the pandemic. At this point, vaccination is strongly encouraged but not required for students, faculty or staff as a condition for enrolling for in-person classes starting in August and/or on-campus employment.”

Geoff Thomas, senior director of media relations, communications and marketing

“Vaccination will be strongly encouraged at Trine University, but not required.”

James Tew, senior director of content and communications

“Manchester University encourages students, faculty and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but it does not require it at this time. Should circumstances change, and local, state and federal guidelines warrant it, we would re-evaluate. NCAA requirements might also potentially influence any decision we would make.”

Abby Van Vlerah, vice president of student life and leadership of Manchester University’s COVID-19 Response Team

WANE 15 also reached out to Huntington University, Indiana tech and Saint Francis University but have not received a statement.

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