Rutgers University students file lawsuit over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Nearly two dozen students at Rutgers University are pushing back against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

News 12 Staff

Aug 17, 2021, 2:15 AM

Updated 974 days ago

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Nearly two dozen students at Rutgers University are pushing back against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The university announced earlier this year that any student living on campus or attending classes in person by for the fall semester must have the vaccine by Sept. 1. But some are saying that a vaccine mandate is unfair.
Eighteen students have filed a lawsuit backed by the nonprofit group Children’s Health Defense, led by Robert Kennedy Jr. He has been a constant voice in what he calls a push for “safe vaccines.”
The lawsuit states, "Federal law requires that the person to whom an EUA vaccine is administered be advised, of the option to accept or refuse administration of the product."
Students opposed to the mandate held a rally on campus in May.
"The COVID vaccination should be a personal and private decision. The state should not be involved in the decision. And the government should not be involved,” student Sara Raci said at the time.
But some of those students who have already moved onto the New Brunswick campus for the fall semester and are vaccinated, tell News 12 New Jersey that they believe that such students are missing the mark.
“It’s a very narrow-minded approach the way that they’re doing this,” says Abigail Marin. “I think it’s everyone’s duty to be safe and do their part.”
"If there is so much high confidence among all scientists and officials about the vaccine I don't see why it should be a health hazard,” says junior Varun Alur.
A university spokesperson says in a statement, "The university's position on vaccines is consistent with the legal authority supporting this policy. We are committed to creating a safe campus environment in fall 2021, and to support the health and safety for all members of the Rutgers community, the university updated its existing immunization requirements for students to include the COVID-19 vaccine."
Moderna and Pfizer are expected to have full approval from the Food and Drug Administration in a few months. It could seriously lessen the argument by the Children's Health Defense that the vaccine should not be mandated because it only has emergency use authorization.
Several other New Jersey colleges have also issued vaccine mandates, including Princeton University, Kean University and the College of New Jersey.


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