The attorney general of Virginia has declared that public universities in the state cannot prevent students from attending if they fail to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
In a statement released () on Friday (Jan. 28) by Virginia’s Attorney General Jason Miyares, he ruled that publicly-funded universities could not require students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of admission. This decision was delivered at the request of Virginia’s new governor Glenn Youngkin as he moves to carry out a campaign promise to roll back public restriction.
Virginia’s public universities “may only exercise such powers as the General Assembly has expressly conferred or necessarily implied.” Under Virginia law, vaccinations against other diseases like diphtheria or tetanus are expressly allowed but no such carve out was ever passed for COVID-19.
“The General Assembly, and the General Assembly only, has the power to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine as an enrollment or in-person attendance requirement,” said Miyares.