I’m going to pretend it was my whining that prompted this move

It’s probably good news, if the FDA beats the start of the semester, which is in two weeks, on the 25th. The University of Minnesota will require vaccinations!

Upon formal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of any COVID-19 vaccine (anticipated in the coming weeks), the University will add the COVID-19 vaccine to those immunizations already required for students, with appropriate exemptions. With the comfort associated with FDA approval, we will join a growing list of public colleges and universities across the country that are taking a similar approach, including, but not limited to, Michigan State University, Purdue University, the University of Florida, and many of the nation’s leading private colleges, including many in Minnesota.

Actually, it’s unlikely it was my nagging — much more likely that they noticed all those rival schools were beating us to the punch.


  1. John Morales says

    As I understand it, the USA’s regulatory regime being what it is, that companies can’t advertise their products under an Emergency Use Authorization, but can if they are fully by the FDA.

    Way I see it, that means that the formidable might of the advertising industry will kick into gear. That’s gotta be quite significant for uptake.

  2. Jazzlet says

    Jolly good news, I’m relieved for you, for your colleagues, and for your students.

  3. numerobis says

    The FDA approval is just an excuse for the administrators to save face.

    But if that’s what they need, because their egos are more important than public safety, then I guess that’s how it’s going to go.

  4. brucej says

    @5, no it’s not “saving face” the difference between EUA and formal approval is that the latter has actual legal implications. And thanks to our barbaric Death Cult Legislature and barbaric Death Cult Governor in AZ, it’s is illegal to require vaccination, testing or masks for the upcoming year.

    Guess their god requires even more human sacrifices….

  5. says

    My college district announced mask and vaccine mandates for in-person instruction without the proviso of final FDA approval. The antivaxxers who screamed at the board of trustees meeting that “It’s an experiment, not a vaccine!” will undoubtedly shift their gears back to “I don’t trust government agencies” as soon as approval occurs. I’ve also heard that our college district is (a) in the pay of Big Pharma, (b) operated by Nazis, (c) operated by fascists, (d) operated by communists, and (e) violates the Constitution.
    Looks like we’ve got the bases covered pretty good.

  6. numerobis says

    brucej@6: prove it.

    Lots of institutions have demanded vaccination already, and the courts have consistently ruled that to be completely fine — including in the US. The latest one: in Florida, a court agreed that cruise ships can require vaccination, at least for now (on the expectation that the state law that bans private companies from requiring vaccination will probably be overturned).

  7. Kevin Karplus says

    You missed an important point: “with appropriate exemptions”. They almost certainly will include religious exemptions, which is a wide-open door for anti-vaxxers. Our campus’s subreddit even had a student trying to claim religious exemption for being Catholic (despite the pope saying that it was a moral obligation to get vaccinated).

  8. says

    Can colleges make masked or unmasked a pre-rec or something like that. You can take your un-masked version of this course vs. the masked version. I think it would sort out a lot of folk who shouldn’t be in college in the first place.

  9. blf says

    EUAs only last until either the emergency terminates, or the FDA withdraws the EUA (which it can do quite rapidly); and the EUA-authorized vaccine can only be used as described in the EUA and not for any other reason. In contrast, a formally-approved (technically known as a BLA (Biologics License Application)) vaccine has an indefinite license which is much harder to withdraw, and other uses may be possible.

    Because EUAs expire, one potential legal problem is once an EUA has expired, a mandate for an EUA-authorized vaccine is presumably illegal (albeit if there is a BLA-approved vaccine then it might not be, presumably depending on how the mandate was worded). In addition, apparently the law which created EUAs has wording to the effect an individual has the option to refuse the vaccine, albeit it’s apparently never been tested in court (as usual, the actual clause is not very clear).

    Upshot is some quick searching — like I just did — finds informed legal option on both sides: Mandating even when only EUA-authorized vaccines exist is legal; or it’s sufficiently legally murky any mandate should wait until there is a BLA-approved vaccine (but in the interim, encouraging vaccination is, legally, Ok).

    (Almost needless to say, all this applies only to the States; other countries can be quite different!)

  10. numerobis says

    blf: commentary online is fun, but what matters is court cases. The courts so far have ruled in favour of several vaccine requirements in the US. They have not struck any down to my knowledge.

    It’s not a problem that if the facts were different then the policy would need to change. All policies are like that.

  11. lumipuna says

    EUAs only last until either the emergency terminates, or the FDA withdraws the EUA (which it can do quite rapidly)

    … and if you’re already vaccinated, Microsoft will stop supporting your immunity system.

  12. jrkrideau says

    @ Kevin Karplus
    Our campus’s subreddit even had a student trying to claim religious exemption for being Catholic

    Petition the Curia to have that student excommunicated.

  13. whheydt says

    Ran into an article this morning about concerns over people using fake vaccination cards. Turn out that making or using fake cards are both Federal offenses and can lead to a 5 year prison term and a “hefty” fine. (From some training I had several years ago, I suspect that “hefty” is up to $250K.)

  14. birgerjohansson says

    Good news.
    Cuomo has designed.
    This means media can move on and focus on other governors, like, you know, the ones that are using a virus to kill their own voters.

  15. quotetheunquote says

    I’m sure he has designed, too (as in, “had designs on her”) and probably quite often, but I knew what you meant.

  16. DonDueed says

    “… they noticed all those rival schools were beating us to the punch.”
    Well, a jab is a kind of punch, I suppose.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    Moar good news.
    Several protease inhibitors have shown promise to treat covid, at least one is in phase one clinical trials.
    Giving them in tablet form will be especially important in places without the infrastructure for vaccine delivery.