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Albion College, other school campuses to require vaccination in some capacity for fall semester

Albion College
Posted at 4:29 PM, May 20, 2021

ALBION, Mich. — As Michigan begins to open back up, college campuses are preparing for the return of students this fall.

While many are still unsure of exactly what it will look like, there are some colleges that will require students to be vaccinated.

Albion College will require their students, staff and faculty to have the COVID-19 vaccination upon returning to campus this fall.

It is the only campus in Michigan to require everyone to be fully vaccinated.

RELATED: Whitmer encourages Michiganders on the fence to get vaccinated in wake of loosened restrictions

"We will be requiring the COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty and staff at Albion for the fall semester," said Albion College Chief of Staff to the President Kelly Finn.

Upon returning to campus on Aug. 30, Albion College will require everyone to be fully vaccinated. It was a decision they said was crucial to return back to normal.

"Throughout the pandemic, we have taken a proactive approach with our students about health and safety not only for students but faculty and staff. We felt that this is the right decision," said Finn.

It was a decision motivated by the response to the seven vaccination clinics held on their campus and the thought of each student's best interests going forward.

RELATED: How recovered COVID patients impact herd immunity timeline

FOX 17 News was unable to get student reaction as the school is currently on summer break.

Legal counsel was also involved in the decision-making process, understanding there may be exceptions.

"It’s our hope that people will take us up on this, but we certainly understand religious or medical reasons. We have a legal process for that," said Finn.

"Can they require it? The answer is yes, they can even if they are public universities," said a WMU Cooley Law School Tenured Professor Michael McDaniel.

Western Michigan University Cooley Law Professor Michael McDaniel said this is nothing new and compares to Meningitis B. It is not against the law to put requirements like this in place if it is protecting the health and safety of the public.

In addition, the requirement does not violate HIPPA guidelines. Those only apply to healthcare providers distributing a person's information without their permission.

"They have a right to require the vaccination. Few have, but they certainly have a constitutional right to do so. Your right then is to not participate should you disagree," said McDaniel.

As of May 20, there are only three other Michigan colleges requiring some form of vaccination. Those include the University of Michigan and Lawrence Tech who are both requiring their residential students to be vaccinated. Kalamazoo College will require all students but not faculty or staff to be vaccinated.

Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University are not currently requiring vaccinations.

RELATED: Meijer offering $10 coupons for customers who get vaccinated

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