Apparently, the religious exemption in Alabama will not apply for the upcoming school year.
With so many schools requiring vaccines, it was just a matter of time for this to start. Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long.
Students protest mandatory Covid vaccinations at colleges
Across the country, a growing number of colleges and universities have said vaccinations will be mandatory for the fall of 2021.
Now, hundreds of thousands of students will be required to get the Covid-19 vaccine, whether they want to or not.
For the most part, students will get vaccinated if it means campus life can return to a pre-pandemic “normal” by September. But not everyone feels that way.
Roughly 88% of college students plan to get the coronavirus vaccine and nearly 3 in 4 students believe vaccinations should be mandatory, according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 college students by College Finance.
However, Jackie Gale, a rising sophomore at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, is not one of them.
For religious reasons, Gale has never been vaccinated. The 19-year-old attended Alabama public schools and received a religious exemption from the Alabama state health department.
The University of Alabama-Birmingham also exempted Gale from its vaccine requirements during the 2020-2021 school year but won’t apply the same exemption for the upcoming year, according to her lawyer.
“If they decide to give her a religious exemption, that will be the end of it,” said Hiram Sasser, executive general counsel for First Liberty Institute, based outside of Dallas. “If not, we will have to communicate with them through a lawsuit.”
“In compliance with applicable law, we do provide religious exemptions for immunization requirements,” a spokeswoman for the school said. The university does require students provide proof of immunization against certain diseases, although there is currently no Covid vaccine mandate for the fall semester.
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