By The Associated Press
BLOOMINGTON — Indiana University is reviewing its new COVID-19 vaccination requirement as more state officials line up against it.
IU defended Thursday the policy requiring vaccinations for all students and employees as a way to safely return to full in-person classes and events on all its campuses starting with the fall semester.
But IU said it “will further consider our process for verifying the requirement” a day after the state attorney general issued a non-binding opinion that the policy was illegal under a new state law banning the state or local governments from issuing or requiring vaccine passports.
Nearly all Republican members of the Indiana Senate on Thursday joined the criticism of IU’s policy. They sent a letter to university President Michael McRobbie saying the policy violates a federal law prohibiting entities from requiring vaccines that haven’t received full federal approval and the state’s vaccine passport ban.
“This heavy-handed mandate goes against many of the liberties on which our founders built our democratic republic,” said the letter signed by 35 of the 39 Republicans who dominate the state Senate.
The letter criticizes the IU policy as potentially causing low-income students to lose state and federal aid and putting the jobs of employees in jeopardy if they “refuse to yield to the university’s vaccine order.”