BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A group of Indiana University students are suing over the school’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
In a federal lawsuit filed Monday, eight students allege that the requirement that students, staff and faculty be vaccinated against the virus before returning to campus in the fall violates the Fourteenth Amendment, which includes rights of personal autonomy and bodily integrity and the right to reject medical treatment, and Indiana’s recently passed “vaccine passport” law.
IU’s vaccine requirement has been embroiled in controversy since it was announced last month. State officials have called on the university to rescind the mandate; others have asked Gov. Eric Holcomb to block it. Attorney General Todd Rokita issued a public opinion that it violated state law.
Responding to public pressure, university officials said earlier this month that the requirement would stand, but documentation to prove vaccination status would no longer be required. Individuals simply have to certify their status through an online form.
For years, IU students have had to get six others vaccines before coming to campus, and it’s Indiana law to show proof of those.
Indiana University issued this statement:
“The requirement for all Indiana University students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated before the return to school in August remains in place. As part of IU’s response to the ongoing pandemic, the vaccine mandate is helping to support a return to safe and more normal operations this fall.
“The university is confident it will prevail in this case. Following release of the Indiana attorney general’s opinion, our process was revised, with uploading proof of vaccination no longer required. The attorney general’s opinion affirmed our right to require the vaccine.”
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