A federal judge ruled Indiana University CAN require students to be vaccinated. This is the first ruling in what is sure to be a controversial issue as schools start back up in the fall. The New York Times explains:
A lawyer for eight student plaintiffs had argued that requiring the vaccine violated their right to bodily integrity and autonomy, and that the coronavirus vaccines have only emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, and should not be considered as part of the normal range of vaccinations schools require.
The judge disagreed. Part of the ruling reads:
“In short, the balance of harms and the public interest favor Indiana University and the determination that it has reasonably determined the best course of action for the health of its academic community this upcoming fall semester.”
.@IndianaUniv vaccination mandate sticks for the fall. From the courts: “The Fourteenth Amendment permits Indiana University to pursue a reasonable and due process of vaccination in the legitimate interest of public health for its students, faculty, and staff.” https://t.co/4ZcHM2rrKx— Krista Longtin, PhD (@kristalongtin) July 19, 2021
Lawyers for the students who filed the lawsuit have said they will appeal, but that’s a process that could reportedly take months or even years. According to Politico, the vaccine requirement will be based on an honor system:
Indiana University’s rules offer students medical and religious exemptions to its vaccine mandate, though it does require people who aren’t vaccinated to wear masks, socially distance from others and subject themselves to periodic testing. The requirements are only in effect for the fall 2021 semester, and the university does not require proof of vaccination after Indiana lawmakers banned the use of so-called vaccine passports.
While this is the first ruling in relation to a university, it’s not the first as far as vaccine requirements. Last month a federal judge threw out a lawsuit filed by more than 100 Houston Methodist employees. NBC News wrote that “More than 150 employees at a Houston hospital system who refused to get the Covid-19 vaccine have been fired or resigned after a judge dismissed an employee lawsuit over the vaccine requirement.”
Then just a couple of days ago the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a ruling from a lower court, which blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from enforcing safety rules for cruise ships to resume sailing. One of the rules some cruise ships operators wanted in place was a vaccine requirement. There is no word yet on whether any cruise ships will do vaccine mandates in light of the ruling. Watch more from the ABC affiliate in Evansville, Indiana above.