President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. announced Friday afternoon that MSU students, staff and faculty will be required to receive vaccinations in response to changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC guidelines.
The decision was made because of breakthrough cases and transmission rates regarding the Delta variant of COVID-19, Stanley said. Because vaccinated individuals can transmit the virus, masks will be required to be worn indoors for the first few weeks of the semester, Stanley said.
The mask mandate may change depending on how high campus case rates are and how effective other measures are.
Stanley said the university has always said they wanted to be driven by science, by the CDC's findings and by the community.
"Those are the main reasons by which we are making this change," Stanley said.
Stanley also said the university plans to provide exemptions for the vaccine for religious and medical reasons if needed.
When asked about potential lawsuits, Stanley referenced the recent federal court ruling stating Indiana University was not acting unconstitutionally by having a vaccine mandate. However, he said that wasn't the main concern.
"Ultimately, it's the right thing to do, and we think that's the main reason to do it," Stanley said.
In a letter sent to the MSU community, Stanley said that all students, staff and faculty must receive WHO-approved or FDA-authorized vaccinations by Aug. 31.
The announcement came about a month after the faculty senate was informed that the university was deciding not to require vaccines.
If you're in need of a vaccine, you can look for providers at vaccines.gov or at the MSU Health Care Pharmacy.
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