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Indiana University to retract vaccine mandate, more than 4,000 signed the petition



Bloomington, Indiana – Indiana University last Friday released a statement that all students and staff will have to be completely vaccinated in order to be eligible to visit the university next student year. Otherwise, the university threatens everyone will be fired or dropped off.

Three days later, an online petition asking UI to retract the vaccine mandate has been signed by more than 4,000 people.

“My son sent the email to me and he was panicked and freaked out,” Christiane Nash said.

He will be a senior next year, but since the vaccination mandate appeared, he said he don’t want to go back to university anymore, Nash added.

Nash is one of nearly 4,000 people who have signed a petition on requesting the university retract the mandate.

“I feel so bad for the faculty, people who have been working there for 20 years may get fired because they don’t get the vaccination,” Nash said.

This is the scary reality, university worker who wanted to stay anonymous said to WRTV.

“We didn’t have any prior notice that this was going to be a requirement for employment or returning to campus as a student or faculty member so it was very shocking,” the staff member said.

Other students said the mail they received on Friday was very threatening. Everyone has the same feelings about the mandate. We have the right to choose if we will get the vaccine. No one wants to be forced to do it so.

Lawmakers are also weighing in on the mandate, including State Representatives John Jacob and Curt Nisly, who posted a joint statement on Facebook.

Indiana University issued the following statement in response to lawmakers regarding the legality of the vaccine requirement:

Indiana University shares the same goal as our faculty, staff, and students in seeking a return to a more normal fall semester, with full attendance at in-person classes, athletic and other events, and social activities without masking and social distancing. If we hope to do this while continuing to avoid large outbreaks, the science is clear that we need a much higher rate of immunity within our IU community. The vaccine is the only way to make sure that happens by the time students return. The policy mandating the vaccine reiterates that we are not requiring a vaccine “passport”; with everyone vaccinated, that would be unnecessary.

HB1405 that passed the Indiana General Assembly’s recently-concluded session did not include public universities in its definition of governmental entities. As co-author on the Indiana vaccine passport ban legislation, State Rep. Chris Campbell noted, state universities and colleges are not covered under the bill. She added that “they know what they need in their environment to keep others safe.”

We are confident this is the best policy for our campuses, utilizing vaccines that are authorized by the WHO, the FDA and a federal Scientific Advisory panel under Emergency Use Authorization. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also confirmed in guidance that employers can require employees be vaccinated. We will continue to follow Indiana law and provide religious and medical exemptions as warranted, in keeping with policy for the six other vaccinations required by state law on our campuses.

Our focus remains on the safety and wellbeing of our IU community.