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BREAKING: MSU Will Not Force COVID Vaccine, Ending Rules for Fall 2021

Contributor: Bri Saroli

Undercutting the University Council, administration announced June 15 that Michigan State University will not require COVID-19 vaccines for Fall 2021.

Faculty, staff, or students will not be required to take a vaccine. However, six Michigan universities are requiring a COVID vaccine, most notably the University of Michigan.

Announcing a ‘more typical’ semester to the Faculty Senate on June 15, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Norman Beauchamp stated, “I think a lot of the emphasis will be on really kind of an honor code, right? Where people will be expected to be truthful in their statement about having had vaccinations," Beauchamp said.

Conversely, the University Council voted 87-11 on May 25 to support a vaccine mandate on campus, with provisions for “religious objections, reasonable philosophical objections, or for those medically unable.”

Ending coronavirus monitoring programs and indoor mask requirements on June 28, MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. further announced in an email that “MSU buildings, venues and services can operate without limitations.”

Stanley further encourages the vaccine, citing the new Delta variant and said a new MSU incentive program for those “already vaccinated and those planning to receive a vaccine” is underway.

“Harassment will not be tolerated,” the MSU president concluded while addressing those “in our community [who] may choose to wear a face covering (even if vaccinated) or physically distance themselves.”

[RELATED STORY: MSU Adds Influenza Vaccine Exemptions, Mandates Quarantine and COVID Testing]

At the senate meeting, Beauchamp highlighted the formerly mandated and expansive Early Detection Program (EDP).

Online health screenings, submitting weekly spit samples, and complying with university mask requirements were included in the EDP. Throughout the 2020-2021 year, masks were even required outdoors as well as indoors until June 28.

MSU will be opening back up to a more full capacity, allowing for more sports and events on campus, increased use of buildings, and 75% in-person classes.

[RELATED STORY: MSU States ‘Novel Coronavirus’ is the Only “Acceptable” Term, Encourages Signing of Anti-Hate Pledge]

Vaccine hesitancy is backed by some studies showing a greater than predicted risk of the vaccine.

Published by the Wall Street Journal on June 22, 2021, Dr. Joseph A Ladapo, an associate professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, and Dr. Harvey A Risch, a professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, shared their concerns.

There are four serious adverse events immediately following vaccination, according to data taken directly from Vaers: “low platelets (thrombocytopenia); noninfectious myocarditis, or heart inflammation, especially for those under 30; deep-vein thrombosis; and death.”

Further, a group of “clinicians, scientists, and patient advocates” are insisting the FDA not fully approve the COVID vaccine in 2021. The formal Citizen Petition contains dozens of studies to back their concern and over 25 professionals as signers.

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