Virginia state universities should limit COVID-19 vaccine mandate, new attorney general says

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has issued his first opinion saying Virginia state universities cannot mandate the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition for enrollment or in-person attendance.

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"Although the General Assembly specifically authorized public institutions of higher education to assist the Department of Health and local health departments in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, the legislation did not grant such institutions power to impose vaccine requirements," Miyares states in his legal opinion.

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Miyares is vaccinated and boosted and says he encourages everyone to get the vaccine. However, he also says the Code of Virginia does not state that Virginia public institutions can require vaccinations as a condition of enrollment or in-person attendance.

Miyares, a Republican, defeated Democrat Mark Herring in November and took office last weekend. He is also Virginia’s first Latino attorney general.

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He recently fired lawyers for two large public universities, his office said, marking more significant changes as he ascends to his new job.

Read his full opinion here.