Purdue University President Mitch Daniels urged the school community Tuesday to receive a COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the upcoming academic year, but stopped short of making the shots a requirement.
“The vaccines can no longer be called experimental,” Daniels said in a video. “They’ve been administered to hundreds of millions of people. They work, wondrously.”
Daniels said those who decline vaccinations can continue to undergo regular COVID-19 testing, as a “second option” for adhering to the Protect Purdue Pledge.
“And there may be activities we can make available to those vaccinated, but not those who decline,” he said.
Daniels said Purdue’s current plans are “subject to change if the facts do”, noting the continuing uncertainties around the spread of COVID variants.
In a letter sent Tuesday, Purdue officials said individuals can opt out of receiving the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, but reiterated that “frequent mandatory testing” will then be required. Proof of COVID vaccination could be required for some on-campus activities and university-related travel. The school will also perform random checks for vaccine documentation.
Five Indiana universities are currently requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students, including the University of Notre Dame. Nationwide, over 300 schools have opted for mandatory COVID inoculations for at least part of the campus population.
The Indiana Department of Health reported 70,625 fully vaccinated residents in Tippecanoe County Tuesday.
This story has been updated.