“No vaccine for you. Let me know if you need a letter for the university.”
That’s what a world-class infectious disease physician told Jaime Carini, a doctoral candidate at Indiana University, who suffers from several chronic illnesses.
When she applied for an exemption from vaccination, Indiana University denied her request, and now Carini is taking the university to court over its vaccine mandate.
Carini is among seven students claiming in a lawsuit, filed last week, that Indiana University’s COVID vaccine mandate violates their Fourteenth Amendment rights to bodily integrity and refusing medical treatment.
They say it also flies in the face of an Indiana law banning vaccine passports.
Since the lawsuit was filed, Indiana University announced it will not require proof of vaccination but that the mandate stands.
In short, if a student refuses to get the COVID vaccine they can face a stringent exemption process, falsify vaccination, or face “virtual expulsion,” according to the lawsuit.
For the few who do receive an exemption, the university requires masks, semi-weekly testing, and mandatory quarantine if exposed to COVID.
“Indiana University stands alone as the sole public university in Indiana with a vaccine mandate,” the lawsuit states, noting other institutions simply encourage students to get it.
When asked if Indiana University’s announcement it will not require proof of vaccination but keep the mandate changes the standing of the case, the attorney representing the students, James Bopp Jr., said it does not.
In a phone interview with The College Fix, Bopp, who has argued many cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, said the mandate still violates the constitutional right to choose medical treatment and protect bodily integrity.
Requiring students to vaccinate is “not reasonable and rational,” according to Bopp.
Since the vaccines are authorized for “emergency use,” they require “complete, informed, and voluntary consent,” according to the lawsuit.
“IU students are the least at risk of a COVID infection,” Bopp said. “For those not vaccinated, they are entitled to make the decision.”
The IU Restart Committee affirmed the very low rate of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 in a recommendations report submitted last month.
The lawsuit also highlights growing concerns about the risks associated with COVID vaccination in college-aged populations. Reports continue to surface of myocarditis, a sometimes deadly heart condition, correlating with COVID vaccination, especially in young males.
Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, a psychiatry professor and director of the medical ethics program at UC Irvine, said that risks of vaccination for college-aged students likely outweighs its benefits for college students.
For more on this story, visit The College Fix.
This article was originally posted on Indiana University sued by students over its vaccine requirement