By Dan Spalding
INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Curt Nisly and 18 other Republican lawmakers are asking Gov. Eric Holcomb to block Indiana University’s plans to require all students and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Nisly, of Milford, joined others in a letter to Holcomb asking him to step in and block the plan.
“Enforcing a mandate that students and faculty accept a vaccine that does not have full FDA approval is unconscionable,” the letter said in part.
“Students’ classes will be dropped, others will be ostracized from IU, and employees will be terminated per this new policy,” the letter read.
Beginning with the fall 2021 semester, the COVID-19 vaccine will be required for all Indiana University students, faculty and staff. The University of Notre Dame announced a similar policy.
The new requirement will allow the university to lift most restrictions on masking and physical distancing this fall, the university said in a statement.
“Knowing that the vast majority of the IU community is vaccinated is the only way the university can confidently return to in-person classes, more in-person events and a more typical university experience, the statement said.
The university has outlined strong consequences for those who choose not to meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement and do not receive an exemption.
Nisly also joined another lawmaker, State Rep. John Jacob, in sending a letter directly to Indiana University questioning the move in light of the General Assembly’s passage of a law that prohibits vaccine passports.
Indiana University responded Tuesday, according to Fox59.com, Indianapolis, saying public universities were excluded from the passport legislation. The statement read:
“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 at 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.”
Nisly has been critical of how Holcomb handled the state’s reaction to the pandemic and mask mandates.