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Virginia’s Largest Public Universities Drop Vax Mandate for Students

Virginia’s Largest Public Universities Drop Vax Mandate for Students

Virginia Tech, George Mason U., the University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University announced updates in policies.

Elections have consequences.

In September, Virginia Tech disenrolled students who failed to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

Now that institution, along with two other public universities in Virginia, is dropping the vaccine requirements for their students.

Virginia’s largest public universities have dropped their Covid-19 vaccination requirement for students to attend in person or to enroll in light of last week’s legal opinion issued by state Attorney General Jason Miyares.

Virginia Tech, George Mason University, the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University announced updates in their policies for the ongoing spring semester on Monday.
Miyares’ opinion, released Friday, said state universities and colleges cannot require the Covid-19 vaccine for students unless the commonwealth’s legislature includes it among required immunizations for higher education institutions. The legal guidance has no direct consequences if it isn’t followed, but an individual who decides to sue a university for not following the guidance could use Miyares’ opinion in court, his office previously told CNN.

All of the universities changed their requirements for employees and instead “strongly” encouraged them to get vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19 after Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, signed an executive directive the day he took office rescinding the vaccine requirements for state employees.

Other institutions are making the same move.

Also rescinding vaccine mandates through statements or revisions to their websites were the University of Mary Washington and Christopher Newport, James Madison, Longwood, Norfolk State, Old Dominion, Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia State universities.

The developments marked a sea change in pandemic policy in a state where until recently vaccination requirements had been the norm for students on public university campuses, with the vast majority complying. The changes are especially striking because they come in the middle of the academic year, as universities are seeking to reestablish operating routines amid the ongoing public health challenge.

In his opinion, Virginia’s Attorney General noted the legislature actually had to create a law requiring vaccination for the students…as is the case for other diseases.

Miyares noted that while the state legislature has enacted laws requiring immunizations for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, German measles and mumps before students can enroll in a college or university, it has not passed a law requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for enrollment.

“I conclude that, absent specific authority conferred by the General Assembly, public institutions of higher education in Virginia may not require vaccination against COVID-19 as a general condition of students’ enrollment or in-person attendance,” Miyares wrote.

The era of “Emergency Response” to the pandemic is clearly ending. Slowly, but surely.


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The Gentle Grizzly | February 2, 2022 at 11:04 am

May the dominoes continue to fall.

Without the OSHA mandates providing employers with top cover from legal liability, employers are going to be facing class action suits for Adverse Effects that will make Asbestosis suits look like a warm up in the bull pen.

Stroke of the pen, law of the Commonwealth.

Democrats everywhere are suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

The Dems’ Covid narrative is unravelling at an increasingly rapid pace.

Eventually a few sacrificial heads will roll. The Dems need people to blame and point fingers at. Fauci, Walensky, and Biden come to mind. And rightly so. A few Dem governors are probably getting nervous, too.

DemoRats are starting to flee the sinking S.S. Biden.

2smartforlibs | February 2, 2022 at 2:46 pm

The legal dept said we can’t take the suits when this goes south.

Force 99% of the students to vaccinate, then drop the vaccination requirement. Since you can’t unvaccinate yourself and the long-term effects have yet to be sorted out I’d say they only pulled it because it didn’t matter.

    SpeakUpNow in reply to randian. | February 3, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    Yes, that is true and yes you won’t see this in mainstream media, but it still sends a message that forced vaccination may be ending and we can only hope that public schools will end it too. Meanwhile, I read that New Orleans just passed a requirement that all children in public schools must be vaxxed. Hope there’s a lawsuit there real soon.

Have you been living in a cave?

Youngkin, Sears, and Miyares…a straight down the line conservative ticket, didn’t take office until after the semester started.

This is the power of drooping Laissez Faire (surrender when you control zero institutions out of the government and your opponent controls all of them) in favor of actually wielding the power of government.

Virginia AG had announced he would be backing all lawsuits against these universities by students on this issue which was followed by the top Virginian Universities dropping the mandates.

Well done VA AG.

    henrybowman in reply to Danny. | February 3, 2022 at 6:15 am

    “This is the power of drooping Laissez Faire (surrender when you control zero institutions out of the government and your opponent controls all of them) in favor of actually wielding the power of government.”

    “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

These universities get ten percent or less of their funding from the government.

A university is a business, these businesses are privately funded (at 90% or more making them more privately funded than your average hospital) and because you have the brilliance not to read your own link

“Laissez-Faire refers to an economic doctrine advocating minimum or no interference from the government in business and economic affairs. It views state intervention as a barrier to the growth and development of an economy. In short, it encourages free-market capitalism based on supply and demand.”

Now what the VA AG did

“I am going to sue you into hell on behalf of every student you exclude from classes or campus who wants the help and keep you in court wasting your time and money even if you win and I am here for 4 years so you know this will cost you”

That is the definition of intervention, the VA AG intervened and used the power of government against businesses.

So next time you are condescending try not to come across as completely illiterate because threatening to sue a business is intervention by definition.

    henrybowman in reply to Danny. | February 4, 2022 at 5:49 am

    Are they or are they not state universities?
    If they are state universities, then I don’t give a damn where they get their “funding” from. They are agents of the state and answerable to the state — same as PBS, NPR, or the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Trust.
    If they are not state universities, then the governor has zero say as to whether or not they pass vax mandates.
    They are not “businesses.” They are “government agencies.”

      henrybowman in reply to henrybowman. | February 4, 2022 at 5:52 am

      For the phrase “state universities” above, you may substitute “public universities” to include institutions on county or city levels. The argument for all is precisely the same.

      And since the headline says “Virginia’s largest public universities,” the argument is accurate.