The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning voted to ban all Mississippi universities from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine on Sept. 17.
“Individual universities have been prohibited by the board from implementing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate as a condition of employment or enrollment except for clinical settings,” Caron Blanton, IHL Spokesperson, said.
J. Walt Starr, the President of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, said that the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect people from the virus, however, the board does not agree with mandating the vaccine at any Mississippi universities, other than the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
The board said because students at the University of Mississippi Medical Center administer immunocompromised patients, the health care provider already mandates the vaccine for them.
Universities are still required to wear masks in all indoor facilities in compliance with Mississippi State Department of Health.
“The board will continue to monitor the situation on our campuses and make appropriate adjustments and exceptions necessary to assist our universities during these very difficult times,” said Alfred Rankins, Jr. Commissioner of Higher Education.