Nova Southeastern Drops COVID Vaccine Requirement, Cites Fla. Law

May 6, 2021

Nova Southeastern University, a private university in Florida that was one of the first colleges to announce plans to require students be vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall, backed away from that policy Wednesday, saying it could no longer require vaccination under a new Florida law. Senate Bill 2006, signed by Florida's Republican governor Monday, prohibits educational institutions from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for attendance or enrollment.

“NSU was hoping for the ability to require vaccinations where possible to further protect the NSU community,” George L. Hanbury II, Nova Southeastern's president, wrote in a message Wednesday. “However, due to a new Florida law, NSU is unable to maintain such a policy. NSU always follows the letter and spirit of the law and we must do that as the law goes into effect on July 1, 2021.”

Instead of a requirement, Hanbury said the university is encouraging students to voluntarily get the vaccines and will lift certain restrictions if it meets a threshold of 80 percent of its on-campus student population being vaccinated.

The change in policy at Nova Southeastern comes amid growing concerns that colleges in some Republican-leaning states, including Texas and Utah, are facing restrictions imposed by legislation or executive order on their ability to require COVID-19 vaccines.

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