University of Northern Illinois to require all students to receive COVID-19 vaccine
DEKALB, Ill. (WTVO) – Northern Illinois University announced on Wednesday that it will require all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend classes this fall.
The rule will apply to all students taking classes in person or living on campus, the school said in a statement.
“Science continues to show that vaccines are safe and effective not only to protect against COVID-19, but also to reduce its severity and limit its transmission. The benefits to the health and well-being of our students, and the communities in which they live, learn and work, are clear and warrant our taking this step, ”said President Lisa C. Freeman.
“There are members of our community who are reluctant to get vaccinated because of concerns about side effects, mistrust of our health systems, or a lack of understanding of the science involved in creating the vaccine. I did not hesitate to get the vaccine because I am convinced that the facts show that the vaccine is safe, effective and useful, ”she added.
NIU does not require employees to receive the vaccine.
According to the American College Health Association, more than 300 universities will require students to get vaccinated before returning to campus this fall.
On Monday, the University of Illinois announced it will require all students to be vaccinated to return to classrooms on campus.
Lawyers say the emergency use status of COVID-19 vaccines shifts the problem to a legal gray area that is likely to be challenged in court, and some colleges may take a more cautious approach to avoid litigation.
Harvard law professor Glenn Cohen, who teaches health law and bioethics, said there was no legal reason colleges would not be allowed to require COVID-19 vaccinations . It makes no difference that the shots weren’t fully approved, he said, noting that many colleges already require students to take approved coronavirus tests under the same emergency clearance from the FDA. But there are also no federal guidelines explicitly authorizing vaccination mandates.
Federal law requires colleges to provide housing for students who medically refuse a vaccine, and most schools also offer exemptions for religious reasons.
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