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Indiana University to require all students and staff to have COVID-19 vaccine by fall semester

All students, faculty and staff will have to have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by July 1 in order to meet the university's requirement.
Credit: James Brosher | Indiana University
Tulips bloom on a spring day in front of the Sample Gates at Indiana University Bloomington on Saturday, April 18, 2020.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University will require all students, faculty and staff to have the COVID-19 vaccine by fall semester. The university had been considering the requirement for months.

All students, faculty and staff will have to have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by July 1 in order to meet the university's requirement. They will need to be fully vaccinated with at least two weeks after a second dose by Aug. 15 in order to return to campus.

According to a release from the university, knowing the vast majority of those on campus are vaccinated is the only way it can return to in-person classes, more in-person events and a more typical university experience.

"The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently authorized by the FDA are extremely safe and effective," said Dr. Lana Dbeibo, director of vaccine initiatives for IU's Medical Response Team and assistant professor of infectious diseases in the IU School of Medicine. "There are very, very few medical reasons a person would not be able to receive this vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is available throughout the U.S., and now those 12 years old and above are eligible. I recommend, unless you have a medical contraindication, to schedule and get the vaccine as soon as you can -- not only for yourself, but for those you love as well."

There will be an exemption request process available by June 15. However, exemptions will be strictly limited to a very narrow set of criteria, including medical exemptions, and documented and significant religious exemptions.

"Since the pandemic began more than a year ago, one of our main goals has been to make it safer to be a part of the IU community than not," said Michael A. McRobbie, president of Indiana University. "We continue to plan for an in-person fall 2021 semester and expect that we'll return to mostly 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."

Students, faculty and staff will need to provide their vaccination information by completing a secure form with the dates of their vaccine doses along with a photo or scan of their vaccine documentation, such as a CDC card. Those who have already submitted their vaccine status to the university will not need to resubmit it.

Students who do not receive an exemption and aren't vaccinated could see their class registration canceled, CrimsonCard access terminated and access to IU systems such as Canvas and email terminated, and they will not be allowed to participate in any on-campus activities.

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

These requirements are for all Indiana University campuses.