Indiana University mandates COVID-19 vaccination for fall semester

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Fall boosters engineered to target the BA.4 and BA.5 versions of omicron may be quickly outpaced. Still, those booster shots remain the best tool on the shelf.

Indiana University announced Friday that all students, faculty and staff will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the fall semester.

IU said students, faculty and staff will need to be vaccinated “in order to interact with the IU community in any way,” including “being on campus, taking or teaching courses, being employed and/or participating in activities.”

The requirement mandates students, faculty and staff get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by July 1 and a second dose (if necessary) by Aug. 15 or when they first return to campus, whichever is earlier.

“This new requirement will allow the university to lift most restrictions on masking and physical distancing this fall,” IU said in a statement. “Knowing that the vast majority of the IU community is vaccinated is the only way the university can confidently return to in-person classes, more in-person events and a more typical university experience.”

Dr. Lana Dbeibo, the director of vaccine initiatives with IU’s Medical Response Team, said that this decision was driven by multiple factors.

“We took science, public health and medicine into account and our goal of transitioning back to normal,” said Dbeibo, an assistant professor of infectious diseases.

Dbeibo said the policy is both a way to continue to protect the community and an important step in transitioning back into a sense of normalcy.

“We have been working on all the policies to make sure our community stays safe during the pandemic,” Dbeibo said. “We knew they were temporary measures. We can’t live our entire lives like that. That is not something we wanted to continue.”

Dbeibo said she has had to talk to patients about vaccine hesitancy and acknowledges some people hold various fears about receiving a dose.

“People have different reasons to make them hesitant,” Dbeibo said. “I try to get to the bottom of the hesitancy, whether it’s how they were developed, how safe they are, if they have side effects, if they cause problems with pregnancy. I try to address it with what we know about the science.”

Still, only a handful of people will be allowed exemptions. The university said the exemption-request process will be available by June 15, with exemptions “strictly limited to a very narrow set of criteria, including medical exemptions, and documented and significant religious exemptions.”

The university said there will be “strong consequences” for those who don’t meet the vaccine requirement and don’t receive an exemption. Students will have their class registrations canceled and access to IU systems and services terminated. They will not be allowed to participate in any on-campus activity.

“Faculty and staff who choose not to meet the requirement will no longer be able to be employed by Indiana University,” IU said. “Working remotely and not meeting the COVID-19 vaccine requirement is not an option.”

Michael A. McRobbie, president of Indiana University, said the mandate will ensure normal operations.

“Requiring the COVID-19 vaccine among our students, faculty and staff continues to extend the university’s comprehensive and thoughtful approach to managing and mitigating the pandemic on our campuses and brings us one step closer to making a ‘return to normal’ a reality,” he said in a written statement.

Through self-reporting, IU estimates that 50% of students, faculty and staff have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Self-reporting will continue through an online form available to members of the IU community. Dbeibo said that 50% is an encouraging number and shows that IU is making strides toward a safer campus for the fall.

“This will be our weapon to transition us to allow people to experience their college life,” Dbeibo said.

IU had spring semester enrollment of more than 83,000 students at seven campuses, with more than 40,000 of those enrolled in Bloomington.

Indiana isn’t the first university in the state with a COVID vaccine mandate. The University of Notre Dame notified students last month that they must be vaccinated to attend school. It notified employees this week that all faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Aug. 2, three weeks before the fall semester begins.

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34 thoughts on “Indiana University mandates COVID-19 vaccination for fall semester

  1. If someone is injured or dies from the vaccines, are they going to be legally responsible for the injury or death as for them forcing the issues by means of extortion???

    Call it for what it is! As proven and confirmed! There is an serious health or death risk taking the vaccines to one who has a better chance surviving COVID over the vaccines!

    1. i too am very sad and upset that i died after receiving the vaccine. my friends all died too so we went on vacation together.

    2. Wow… (sarcasm) The lame-stream media has been doing a great job covering up all of those deaths. If Darrell W is to be believed, they must be hiding 600,000+ vaccine deaths in the US alone. Where are those baby eating pedophiles when you need them to take out a few pro-vaxer’s?

    3. Well, over 3500 deaths have occurred so far in the U.S. from these shots. This is not unusual. ALL vaccines (which the COVID shots are not) result in some injuries and deaths. Even the typical flu shots (which are actually vaccines) result in deaths every year. It is a chance people can decide to take or not. To be made to or coerced into taking one of these shots, is without precedent. They are saying, essentially, that you have no rights over your body. Where are all the abortion advocates that use the “control over my body” at? If you believe that these shots will keep you from getting COVID, take one; its your choice.
      Unbelievably, people are NOT the property of the state.

    4. more people have died from the covid vaccine than have died from all vaccines COMBINED in the last twenty years. I did not make this up. you can look it up. it is a small percentage but there is a chance.

    5. Every IU student and employee has been given plenty of notice to either quit their jobs or transfer to a new school. If they don’t want to get a vaccine, don’t. Just don’t plan on being employed or educated at IU. The University shouldn’t be liable if anyone gets sick or dies from the vaccine, just as they were not liable if any students or staff died from covid-19.

    6. Where is this incredible misinformation coming from, and why does the IBJ leave it posted on Not just Darrell’s comment, but Neil’s reply, saying the vaccine has caused over 3,500 deaths so far. Please provide actual factual data backing this, and if it is not available, then IBJ should remove that comment as misinformation. (Hint… there is NO scientific data stating this). And Dustin, who states that more people have died from the covid vaccine than all other vaccines combined for decades. Again… where is the actual scientific evidence of this? Post it, and if you can’t find facts, then IBJ should remove this disinformation. The thing is, covid disinformation is particularly insidious, because people have literally died as a result. IBJ… what will you do about this?

    1. Best of luck. I’d imagine most universities are going to do the same thing.

    2. Might as well head to the deep South if you’re looking for someplace it won’t mandate it Matt

    3. Matt V.
      Don’t bother to transfer to Norte Dame. They announced vaccine requirements a few months ago.

      But at the same time, you have the FREEDOM to transfer because the public health crisis is under control because you are vaccinated.

  2. We’ll see how this plays out. Title III of the U.S. Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on medical condition (i.e. unvaccinated) in private businesses such as grocery stores, banks, restaurants, hotels, retail stores and all public facilities including schools. Hmm??

    1. This played out a LONG time ago. About 1912, the supreme court ruled that you can discriminate on the basis of vaccinations. You apparently don’t care for any children, otherwise you would know schools have been requiring proof of vaccinations for decades.

    2. It’s annoying hearing people who know nothing about law constantly throwing around legal arguments.

    3. Note: IU already requires multiple other vaccinations, and if you don’t have them, your registration is cancelled. This is no different from existing IU policy on other vaccinations, so why are people so freaked out about this one?

    1. A sheep that chooses not to suffer or cause others to suffer or die because of COVID? That seems like an easy choice.

      I waited more than a year to be able to bleat it all the way back to my favorite sit down restaurant. Seems like an easy choice.

  3. This is so wrong. You think this kind of crap will stop with this virus and required vaccine, but you are wrong. This is only the beginning. Welcome to the new United States of China!

    1. Good luck being ruled by your lord and masters. It’s too bad so many died in the past fighting for freedom that means nothing to you young people. You think I’m being extreme here, but giving up your rights and freedoms always starts with something innocuous.

  4. Very proud of my University for taking a prudent stance during a time where tough decisions cause radical responses. I would congratulate whoever made this decision for doing the right thing.

  5. It’s funny hearing everyone whining about this. I was required to get the Swine Flu vaccine back in high school when it got 600 students sick. Vaccination requirements have been around forever. You’re just upset about it now because Fox News and the GOP have told you to be. The real sheep are the people following right wing media and agreeing with absolutely everything they say.

  6. The Moderna COVID‑19 Vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA, under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19) for use in individuals 18 years of age and older. There is no FDA-approved vaccine to prevent COVID‑19.

    The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for use in individuals 12 years of age and older. The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of the medical product under Section 564(b)(1) of the FD&C Act unless the declaration is terminated or authorization revoked sooner


    You are participating in the trial phase for a mRNA vaccine, mRNA has never been used before as the delivery method for a vaccine.

    Not sure if this makes me an anti-vaxer or a non participant in the trial phase.