Group of lawmakers urge governor to stop IU vaccine mandate

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Signitures from Indiana lawmakers against IU's COVID-19 vaccine mandate

INDIANAPOLIS— Indiana State Rep. Jim Lucas is leading a group of lawmakers in efforts to stop Indiana University and others from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Tuesday, he wrote a letter to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb explaining his request. It says, “Nobody is disputing that COVID-19 is real, or dismissing the contributions of healthcare professionals over the past year; however, enforcing a mandate that students and faculty accept a vaccine that does not have full FDA approval is unconscionable. Students’ classes will be dropped, others will be ostracized from IU, and employees will be terminated per this new policy.”

Nineteen lawmakers signed onto the demand including Rep. Beau Baird, Rep. Stephen Bartels, Rep. Martin Carbaugh, Rep. Sean Eberhart, Rep. Bob Heaton, Rep. Matt Hostettler, Rep. John Jacob, Rep. Chris Judy, Rep. Cindy Ledbetter, Rep. Shane Lindauer, Rep. Chris May, Rep. Peggy Mayfield, Rep. Bob Morris, Rep. Curt Nisly, Rep. J.D. Prescott, Rep. Hal Slager, Rep. Heath VanNatter and Rep. Denny Zent.

We reached out to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office, “Our office has received the letter and will review it with the Governor when he returns from Israel,” said Spokesperson Alec Gray.

As we reported Monday, State Rep. John Jacob and State Rep. Curt Nisly wrote Indiana University a letter regarding this same issue.

“Dear President McRobbie and Ms. Simmons,

It has come to my attention and Representative Curt Nisly that Indiana University (IU) is mandating COVID ‘vaccinations’ for its staff, faculty, and students. Is that correct? If so, in light of the recent legislation that was passed by the Indiana legislature banning vaccination passports by government and that IU is a state government school could you please explain the legal basis by which IU is making that mandatory?

Also, how can IU mandate something that is not formally approved for actual use, as the COVID ‘vaccine’ is an Experimental Use Authorization (EUA)? In addition, is IU willing to accept all responsibility for those hurt by taking the COVID ‘vaccine’ as there are many people that have died and had very adverse reactions to the COVID shot? In light of the recent legislation, I would hope that IU retracts it’s requirement for mandatory vaccination by staff, faculty, and students.”

Indiana University responded Tuesday.

“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.

HB1405 that passed the Indiana General Assembly’s recently-concluded session did not include public universities in its definition of governmental entities. As co-author on the Indiana vaccine passport ban legislation, State Rep. Chris Campbell noted, state universities and colleges are not covered under the bill. She added that “they know what they need in their environment to keep others safe.”

We are confident this is the best policy for our campuses, utilizing vaccines that are authorized by the WHO, the FDA and a federal Scientific Advisory panel under Emergency Use Authorization.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also confirmed in guidance that employers can require employees be vaccinated. We will continue to follow Indiana law and provide religious and medical exemptions as warranted, in keeping with policy for the six other vaccinations required by state law on our campuses.

Our focus remains on the safety and wellbeing of our IU community.”

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