Health Indiana News

Indiana University has announced that students, faculty and staff will have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus by the start of the fall semester.

Meanwhile, none of Kentucky’s public universities are requiring people to get vaccinated to return to campus, though they are strongly encouraging it.

IU officials say students and others should try to get the first dose of the vaccine by July 1 in order to meet the requirement by the start of class on Aug, 23.

IU President Michael McRobbie says the university plans to have an in-person fall semester with “mostly normal operations.”

“Requiring the COVID-19 vaccine among our students, faculty and staff continues to extend the university’s comprehensive and thoughtful approach to managing and mitigating the pandemic on our campuses and brings us one step closer to making a ‘return to normal’ a reality,” McRobbie said in a statement.

In a news release, IU officials said the vaccine requirement will allow the university to lift most masking and social distancing requirements. 

Working remotely will not excuse students, faculty and staff from getting the vaccine, according to a news release.

People will be able to apply for an exemption to the requirement for medical or “significant” religious reasons.

Students can have their class registrations canceled and faculty and staff can be fired if they don’t meet the requirement.

In Kentucky, no public university has created a vaccine requirement, but some school officials have said they are still evaluating whether to do so.

Jon Klein, vice dean for research at University of Louisville School of Medicine, Tweeted that he hoped his university would follow IU’s example.

Simmons College, a historically Black college in Louisville, will require students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated this fall.

Berea College, a private liberal arts college in eastern Kentucky, announced earlier this month they will require vaccinations to live or study on campus. Berea will offer online classes to students who don’t get vaccinated.

This story has been updated.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.