Interim President Rick Muma does not foresee a university COVID-19 vaccine mandate, he said during a faculty and staff virtual town hall Friday.
“I don’t really see that happening,” Muma said. “One good reason [is that] the vaccine is still given under emergency use authorization, in that kind of circumstance it becomes difficult to require something that hasn’t received full approval by the FDA.”
Due to a recent order by the Kansas governor, all Kansans are qualified to receive a vaccination through their county. All faculty, staff, and students can receive their vaccination through Student Health Services.
Faculty Senate President Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn said that if the university were to have a vaccine mandate in the future, that would not be due to a WSU decision.
“To be clear, this is not a decision we would make as an individual organization,” he said. “It would be a legal mandate from our state or federal government.”
“A legal mandate or something that has widespread acceptance and we’re not really seeing that at this point,” Muma said.
“The big stumbling block is the vaccine is still under emergency authorization.”
WSU announced Friday that they are removing all COVID-19 mandates, including mask wearing and social distancing guidelines. This decision follows the decision of the county to rescind all COVID health orders.
The university’s current plan is to return to “post-pandemic normal” by June 1— which means in-person classes and events and less remote working.