BLOOMINGTON, Ind — The Supreme Court has refused to block Indiana University's policy requiring students receive a COVID-19 vaccine to attend classes this fall.
NBC News reports the challenge to the university's policy was directed to Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who is in charge of the region of the country. Barrett denied the challenge with no noted dissents from other justices.
Earlier this summer, a district court and federal court of appeals both denied the eight students who are fighting the mandate. The students then asked the Supreme Court for an emergency order, saying the risks of vaccination outweigh the benefits of receiving the shot for those in their age group.
IU's policy requires students to be vaccinated to attend the university. The appeals court ruling said students who don't want to get vaccinated can seek "ample education opportunities" elsewhere, according to the Associated Press.
The ruling found that since universities can already require surrendering property or requiring students to read or write about certain things, it was "hard to see a greater problem with medical conditions that help all students remain safe while learning."
IU will not require documentation that students, faculty and staff have received the COVID-19 vaccine by the fall semester. IU is still requiring everyone working or enrolled at any of its campuses to be vaccinated. The change in requiring documentation comes after state lawmakers and Indiana's attorney general said it violates a new state law banning immunization passports by the government.
Those who have been vaccinated can verify their status through an online form. Those who are found to be lying on the form could face punishment.
Students, faculty and staff can apply for exemptions based on medical or religious reasons, as well as an online exemption for those who are not on or near campus.
Wearing a mask on campus will be optional for those students, faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated. There will also be no social distancing requirements for those who are fully vaccinated.
Students, faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated will not need to participate in mitigation testing. Those who are fully vaccinated will also not need to quarantine if they are in close contact with a person who is later found to have COVID-19.