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Virginia AG Jason Miyares Legal Opinion: Public Universities Cannot Mandate COVID-19 Jab for In-Person Attendance


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Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares delivered his first legal opinion on COVID-19 jab mandates and public universities on Friday.

According to a release by the Office of the Attorney General, Miyares says Virginia state universities cannot require the COVID-19 jab as a condition of enrollment or in-person attendance.

Miyares noted that the General Assembly has not passed legislation requiring students to take the experimental injection for in-person school attendance.

The release states:

Attorney General Miyares has issued a legal opinion that Virginia’s state institutions of higher education cannot require the COVID-19 vaccine as a general condition of students’ enrollment or in-person attendance.

Attorney General Miyares highlights in the opinion that “as recognized in the prior opinion, ‘[t]here is no question that the General Assembly could enact a statue requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for in-person school attendance.’

As of this writing, it has not done so. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly has amended other statues to address pandemic-related issues.”

Additionally, Miyares writes that “Although the General Assembly specifically authorized public institutions of higher education to assist the Department of Health and local health departments in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, the legislation did not grant such institutions power to impose vaccine requirements.”

While Attorney General Miyares is vaccinated and boosted and encourages everyone to get the vaccination, nowhere in the Code of Virginia does the law say that Virginia public institutions can require vaccinations as a condition of enrollment or in-person attendance.

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WJLA reported:

Dozens of colleges and universities in the Commonwealth made changes to their coronavirus policies to require vaccines and booster shots. Virginia Tech, George Mason University, George Washington University, and the University of Virginia are just a few schools to name.

The American College Health Association, which is cited in the state law for vaccine requirements, recommends that all Institutes of Higher Learning require the COVID-19 vaccination.

Miyares said, “Although the General Assembly specifically authorized public institutions of higher education to assist the Department of Health and local health departments in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, the legislation did not grant such institutions power to impose vaccine requirements.”

The release also said that “nowhere in the Code of Virginia does the law say that Virginia public institutions can require vaccinations as a condition of enrollment or in-person attendance.”

Read the legal opinion on this document.



 

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