LSU board asks LDH to require COVID-19 vaccine for public school students

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 7:48 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 20:48:59-04

The LSU Board of Supervisors on Friday approved a resolution asking the Louisiana Department of Health to add COVID-19 vaccines to the list of shots required for students before they can attend public schools, colleges, and universities, The Advocate reports.

The resolution acknowledges concerns raised by students and faculty and also encourages voluntary vaccinations on LSU campuses. The Board's Academic and Research Committee voted 4-3 to advance the resolution, then later discussed the matter further, adding language that LSU would inform students of their legal rights to opt out of any vaccination.

Board members ultimately approved the resolution 9-2, with several supervisors not voting, The Advocate reports.

State law already requires students to be vaccinated against polio, smallpox, and more before being allowed to attend, but they can opt out for religious and medical reasons.

General Counsel Winston DeCuir told the LSU board that because the COVID-19 vaccines were only approved by the FDA on an emergency basis, they can't unilaterally be added to the required list until fully approved.

DeCuir also referenced House Bill 498, currently waiting for Gov. Edwards' signature, that prohibits discrimination against those seeking state services based on COVID vaccination status, and House Resolution 20, requiring schools to inform parents and students that they can opt out of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

73% of LSU's faculty and 56% of the staff have been vaccinated, according to LSU President Tom Galligan. 26% of students have received the shot.

Read more from The Advocate here.

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