Public Universities Cannot Require COVID-19 Vaccine


JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) – The board that governs public universities in Mississippi has voted to ban schools from requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students and staff.

The Mississippi Higher Education Institutions Board of Trustees voted on Friday, said Caron Blanton, communications director for Mississippi Higher Education Institutions. At a previous meeting on August 27, the board voted not to require students at public universities to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Board members decided to vote again because there was confusion over whether individual school officials could choose to order the shots if they wished, Blanton said.

“With the exception of clinical settings within institutions, centers, departments and programs, institutions are required to refrain from mandating COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of registration or employment,” reads -on in the new motion adopted on Friday.

The clinical exception means that the policy adopted by the University of Mississippi Medical Center, which has previously announced that it will require students and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, will remain in effect. square.

Friday’s meeting was held during the board’s annual retreat away from Jackson. It was not broadcast live, so the audience couldn’t hear what was discussed.

During the live-streamed August meeting, nine board members said the vaccine should not be mandatory. Many said they supported students to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but the injections should be voluntary.

The two physician members of the board, Dr Alfred McNair Jr. and Dr Steven Cunningham, were the only two members of the board to vote to make vaccination mandatory.

Mississippi public universities already require that students be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella, according to the regulations of higher education institutions. Students studying in a health-related field should be vaccinated against hepatitis B.

Some cities in Mississippi, including the capital Jackson, have demanded that workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. Jackson’s mayor, Antar Lumumba, extended until Oct. 15 the deadline until Oct. 15 for city workers to show proof of vaccination.

The extension also applies to contractors and subcontractors who are paid in whole or in part from funds provided under a city contract, WLBT-TV reported.

Those who choose not to provide proof of vaccination must undergo weekly testing at their own expense. Employees who do not show their immunization status must also wear masks at all times while at work.

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