Indiana attorney general attacks IU’s COVID-19 vaccine order

INDIANAPOLIS — The state attorney general is attacking Indiana University’s decision to require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations from all students and employees as illegal under a new state law banning the state or local governments from issuing or requiring vaccine passports.

That advisory opinion issued Wednesday, however, contradicts the top two legislative leaders who said the law adopted last month didn’t apply to public universities or K-12 schools.

The opinion from Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office maintains that Indiana’s public universities are created by state law and that court rulings have determined them to be “arms of the state.” The opinion said the new law applies to universities since the legislature didn’t exempt them.

The attorney general’s opinion comes a day after 19 Republican legislators sent a letter to Gov. Eric Holcomb asking him to prohibit any any state university from mandating vaccines that don’t have full U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.

IU officials announced Friday that COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for the fall semester on all of its campuses.

“IU’s vaccine policy is a clear path forward that will ensure a higher rate of immunity and the opportunity to give our students, faculty and staff a more typical university experience,” IU spokesman Chuck Carney said about the decision.