Lincoln Memorial University Law School Demands COVID-19 Vaccine
Lincoln Memorial University is making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for students at its Knoxville Law School.
All students must submit proof of vaccination by Dec. 27 to be enrolled in the next spring semester, Lincoln Memorial University spokeswoman Kate Reagan confirmed to Knox News.
The current student vaccination rate is less than 70%, according to an email to students from Lincoln Memorial University’s vice president and dean of law school, Matthew Lyon. More than 90% of faculty and staff have been vaccinated, he wrote.
“If it weren’t for the number of faculty, staff and students who have already been vaccinated, we probably would have had to move our courses, exams and other law school activities online there are weeks, âLyon said in the email. “This new policy is an important step in keeping us on campus for classes and extracurricular and social events that greatly enrich your law school experience.”
The policy allows students to request medical or religious exemptions. The deadline for submitting exemptions is October 25.
Students who are exempted must take a weekly COVID-19 PCR test at their own expense, per policy emailed to students. The test must come back negative for a student to attend the classes for the week.
“We understand that some of you do not agree with this decision. We will be happy to hear your comments, both positive and negative, on this policy. However, please be aware that we will not dispute the facts or the rationale for the decision nor will reconsider the decision itself, âLyon said in the email.
At least three other graduate schools at Lincoln Memorial University require proof of vaccination for the upcoming semester, including DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Medical Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, Reagan said. The university president and the board of trustees approve requests from colleges to require vaccines.
Knox County lags far behind the national COVID-19 vaccination rate. Across the country, about 76% of Americans have at least one dose, but only about 57% of Knox County residents have received at least one dose.
As of Wednesday, there were 2,730 active cases of COVID-19 in County Knox.