LSU weighs requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students

LSU is weighing whether to require its students to get the COVID-19 vaccine before the fall semester when the shots should be accessible to more people.

Since college students will have to wait in line longer than most Americans and likely won’t be able to get vaccinated for months, LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard says the university is currently placing its focus on the upcoming spring semester and on the COVID-19 testing operation that will be in place. However, no decision has been made about a potential vaccine mandate.

“Discussions are ongoing about the vaccine, but we have not finalized that part yet,” Ballard tells Daily Report. 

It’s also still unclear as to whether LSU will eventually mandate vaccinations among its employees. For the time being, Ballard says vaccines will be “encouraged” for faculty, staff and other university personnel.

As institutions that employ and educate tens of millions of Americans, colleges can play a key role in helping vaccinate enough people to not only reach herd immunity and tame the virus, but to allow their campuses to return to in-person learning after a year of financial turmoil, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports

But mandatory vaccinations could also pit colleges against civil libertarians and anti-vaccine activists at a time when colleges don’t feel they have the support of the federal government. Read the full story.