Indiana University shares the same goal as our faculty, staff and students in seeking a return to a more normal fall semester, with full attendance for in-person classes, athletic and other events, and social activities without masking and social distancing.
If we hope to do this while continuing to avoid large outbreaks, the science is clear that we need a much higher rate of immunity within our IU community. The vaccine is the only way to make sure that happens by the time students return. The policy mandating the vaccine reiterates that we are not requiring a vaccine “passport”; with everyone vaccinated, that would be unnecessary.
HB1405, which passed the Indiana General Assembly’s recently concluded session, did not include public universities in its definition of governmental entities. As co-author of the Indiana vaccine passport ban legislation, State Rep. Chris Campbell said state universities and colleges are not covered under the bill. She added that “they know what they need in their environment to keep others safe.”
We are confident this is the best policy for our campuses, utilizing vaccines that are authorized by the WHO, the FDA and a federal Scientific Advisory panel under Emergency Use Authorization. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also confirmed in guidance that employers can require employees be vaccinated. We will continue to follow Indiana law and provide religious and medical exemptions as warranted, in keeping with policy for the six other vaccinations required by state law on our campuses.
Our focus remains on the safety and well-being of our IU community.