Opposition From Republican Officials Grows Against IU COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
Pressure is building on Indiana University to repeal its requirement that students, faculty and staff receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
The vast majority of the Indiana Senate Republican Caucus sent a letter to IU Thursday, expressing “grave concerns” over what they call its “heavy-handed mandate.”
READ MORE: How Is Indiana Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines? Here's What You Need To Know
Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and other statewide issues.
The GOP legislators’ letter said IU’s policy would force students – which the lawmakers call the “lowest at-risk demographic” – to make a decision based on economics rather than health and individual responsibility.
At the same time, prominent conservative attorney Jim Bopp has filed a public records request with the university. Bopp, acting on behalf of a group called “IU Family For Choice, Not Mandates” wants documents related to how and why the university created its COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
Bopp said the records request will help determine whether the mandate is, in his words, “justified.”
The Senate GOP letter and Bopp's records request follow a similar letter from some Indiana House Republicans asking the governor to halt IU's mandate. Attorney General Todd Rokita also weighed in on the issue this week, opining that a new state law prevents the university from requiring proof of vaccination – but not requiring the vaccinations themselves.
The University of Notre Dame –which is a private university– is requiring vaccines for students, faculty and staff. Purdue University is strongly encouraging vaccines and Ball State University has said COVID-19 vaccines aren't required, though that may change if moved from emergency use authorization to full FDA approval.
Contact reporter Brandon at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.