Indiana University has amended its COVID-19 vaccine requirement with an option to avoid providing proof. IU faculty, students and staff will be able to attest to their vaccination without having to provide documentation of having received the shots as was required under the previous policy.
This policy change comes after several GOP legislators and Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita argued state law does not allow the university to make such a requirement.
"Anytime that we have a significant policy issue, we are certainly going to discuss these with lawmakers," said IU spokesperson Chuck Carney. "This is what we decided to do to alleviate that concern."
However, the university said it will implement an incentive program to encourage the IU community to provide proof of the vaccine. Carney said more details on the program will be released later this week.
"Not to mention the largest incentive, which is simply to keep you healthy," said Carney.
IU has also shared that its plan for the fall includes rolling back masking and social distancing requirements and ending mitigation testing for those who have been vaccinated.
The vaccine exemption request form and attestation form will be available starting June 2. The qualifications for a COVID-19 vaccine exemption include:
- religious exemptions, per state law
- medical exemptions with documentation of an allergy to the vaccine or one of its ingredients
- medical deferrals due to pregnancy or active breastfeeding; immunocompromised individuals who have received an hematopoietic or solid organ transplant within the past three to six months or who have been on active treatment with Rituximab in the same time period
- online program exemptions for students who are participating in a 100 percent online-only degree program; this does not include students who are simply taking all of their classes online
Those who have been vaccinated will still be subject to less-frequent surveillance testing.
Masks will be optional except in the case of some events. For example, in the case of a large event (250+ people) during which non-IU constituents are present, IU policy says "ALL attendees should wear a mask if the event is indoors."
IU advises those who are exempt from vaccination to continue wearing a mask.
Class and/or event occupancy and scheduling will not be restricted by COVID-19 guidelines.
There will be no social distancing requirements.
"This is the only way forward to a sort of normal campus life on all of our IU campuses. We feel confident that this is the right thing to do," said Carney.
Read more information on IU's Fall 2021 restart plan here.
WTIU/WFIU Reporter Ethan Burks contributed to this story.