Vanderbilt University announced on Wednesday that it awarded a total of $25,000 to staff and postdoctoral scholars in a giveaway for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Each winner received $1,000. The university held a giveaway handing out thousands of dollars as an incentive to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, despite requiring all students and staff in May to be vaccinated against COVID for the upcoming school year. The deadline to submit vaccination records is this Saturday.
Even if staff are working remotely, the university requires vaccination. Additionally, those who already contracted the virus are still required to be vaccinated.
On Monday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) published an opinion that mandates for the COVID-19 vaccine, an emergency use authorization (EUA) vaccine, were perfectly legal. The DOJ originally drafted the opinion on July 6.
Also on Monday, Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced that it would require its employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Those in leadership roles at the medical center will be required to receive the vaccine first. As with the university, the medical center will still require remote employees and those who don’t interact with patients to receive the vaccine.
Vaccine mandates may not have any impact on COVID restrictions or mask mandates. The CDC issued updated guidance on Tuesday recommending that even fully-vaccinated individuals wear masks in areas with high case rates. As of press time, Vanderbilt University hasn’t updated their masking requirements for fully vaccinated individuals to match the CDC guidance.
Vanderbilt University was one of the first Tennessee colleges, along with Maryville College, to mandate the vaccine. At the time of their mandate announcement in May, Vanderbilt University didn’t mention any incentives for students or staff who received the vaccine.
The only Tennessee universities and colleges mandating the COVID-19 vaccine are Christian Brothers University, Rhodes College (contingent on FDA approval), Maryville College, and Vanderbilt University.
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