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Board: Public universities cannot require COVID-19 vaccine

Mississippi University for Women (MUW, The W) is a public, co-educational university in Columbus.

The board that governs Mississippi’s public universities is prohibiting schools from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students and staff.

Posted: Sep 22, 2021 1:06 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The board that governs Mississippi's public universities has voted to prohibit schools from requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students and staff.

The Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning took the vote on Friday, said Caron Blanton, communications director for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. At an earlier meeting on Aug. 27, the board voted not to require public university students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Board members decided to vote again because there was confusion about whether officials at individual schools could choose to mandate the shots if they wished to, Blanton said.

“Except for clinical settings within institutions, centers, departments, and programs, institutions are directed to refrain from mandating the COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of enrollment or employment,” the new motion passed Friday reads.

The clinical exception means that the policy adopted by the University of Mississippi Medical Center, which already announced that it will require students and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1, will stay in place.

Friday's meeting took place during the board's annual retreat away from Jackson. It was not livestreamed, so the public could not hear what was discussed.

During the livestreamed August meeting, nine board members said the vaccine should not be mandated. Many said they support students getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but that shots should be voluntary.

The board's two physician members, Dr. Alfred McNair Jr. and Dr. Steven Cunningham, were the only two board members who voted to mandate vaccinations.

Mississippi’s public universities already mandate that students be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella, according to Institutions of Higher Learning bylaws. Students studying in a health-related field must be vaccinated against hepatitis B.

Some Mississippi cities, including the capital of Jackson, have required workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Jackson Mayor Antar Lumumba extended a deadline for city workers to show proof of vaccination until Oct. 15.

The extension also applies to contractors and subcontractors who are paid in whole or in part from funds provided under a city contract, WLBT-TV reported.

Those who choose not to provide proof of vaccination must undergo weekly testing at their own expense. Employees who don’t show their vaccination status must also wear masks at all times while at work.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497379

Reported Deaths: 9907
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34085530
DeSoto31806398
Hinds31796621
Jackson24303377
Rankin21852387
Lee15413233
Madison14513278
Jones13770241
Forrest13401250
Lauderdale11936314
Lowndes10908184
Lamar10461135
Pearl River9428237
Lafayette8450137
Hancock7690126
Washington7361156
Oktibbeha7110129
Monroe6713173
Warren6635175
Neshoba6606204
Pontotoc6603101
Panola6458131
Marshall6378132
Bolivar6264145
Union595194
Pike5780152
Alcorn5630100
Lincoln5416134
George490479
Scott470698
Tippah464981
Prentiss464181
Leflore4626143
Itawamba4590104
Adams4570119
Tate4539109
Copiah444691
Simpson4419116
Wayne438572
Yazoo437586
Covington427194
Sunflower4215104
Marion4206107
Coahoma4114104
Leake407287
Newton380879
Grenada3691108
Stone358264
Tishomingo355991
Attala330189
Jasper328065
Winston312891
Clay305875
Chickasaw296567
Clarke290294
Calhoun277645
Holmes266587
Smith262550
Yalobusha232347
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217663
Greene215448
Lawrence211140
Perry204555
Amite203454
Webster201645
Noxubee184940
Montgomery178956
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167338
Tunica158539
Benton147038
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131037
Humphreys128838
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104339
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 811551

Reported Deaths: 15101
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1138721885
Mobile720161315
Madison51829685
Shelby37203339
Baldwin37018538
Tuscaloosa34853599
Montgomery33879718
Lee23097239
Calhoun22095468
Morgan20584368
Etowah19727496
Marshall18224298
Houston17270405
St. Clair15884337
Cullman15257289
Limestone15177197
Elmore14944283
Lauderdale14060294
Talladega13653270
DeKalb12530258
Walker11055363
Blount10071174
Autauga9874146
Jackson9760177
Coffee9171188
Dale8850180
Colbert8768200
Tallapoosa7028194
Escambia6714127
Covington6661179
Chilton6571160
Russell623458
Franklin5926105
Chambers5553142
Marion4942126
Dallas4848199
Clarke472681
Pike4713105
Geneva4557126
Winston4456101
Lawrence4247116
Bibb421186
Barbour355274
Marengo333889
Monroe329062
Randolph324663
Butler323694
Pickens313479
Henry310365
Hale308586
Cherokee299257
Fayette289779
Washington250850
Cleburne245758
Crenshaw243075
Clay238867
Macon229862
Lamar214846
Conecuh185051
Coosa177338
Lowndes173061
Wilcox166738
Bullock151744
Perry137940
Sumter130738
Greene125344
Choctaw86527
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Columbus
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This afternoon and into our evening we will see a cold front move into our area. This cold front will bring some good chances for some showers and thunderstorms into our weather forecast during that time period.
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