Indiana University has announced it is making “adjustments” to its previously announced vaccine verification policy. The university says it will no longer require proof that students, faculty, and staff have received the COVID-19 vaccination at any of the schools in the IU system.
However, IU says it is still requiring the shot as a condition of enrollment or employment.
University officials say the change is in response to “feedback from students, parents, faculty and staff, as well as conversations with legislative leaders.”
Under the revised policy, members of the IU community must simply state they received the vaccine, while not showing any proof.
“As part of the accelerated exemption process, those receiving the vaccine are no longer required to upload documentation. Instead, they can certify their status as part of a simple attestation form that will be available on June 2,” said the university statement.
IU received backlash from state lawmakers and from Attorney General Todd Rokita about the proposed policy when it was released last week, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana.
Rokita said the mandate violated the state’s prohibition on “vaccine passports.”
Indiana lawmakers pointed to House Enrolled Act 1405, which bars the state or local units of government from inquiring whether a person has received, or not received, a vaccine to protect against hospitalization and death due to COVID-19. It took effect in April.
IU says those who choose to upload documentation that provides they were vaccinated will receive “special incentives,” though the university did not provide what those incentives might be.
Meanwhile, people who are requesting a vaccine exemption due to medical or religious reasons can start seeking the exemption starting Wednesday. It was originally scheduled for June 15.
IU says wearing a mask on campus will be optional for students, faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated. The university says those who are exempt from the vaccine requirement or are in the process of becoming fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask on campus.
The university says it is returning to pre-pandemic, in-person status, with classrooms, labs, housing, dining, recreation and other campus facilities at pre-pandemic capacities.