(CNS News) -- When asked whether public schools and colleges should require their students to have the COVID vaccine, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said, “no,” and added that it is “counterproductive to just tell people what they have to do.”
At the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, CNS News asked the senator, “Should public schools and colleges be able to mandate that their students get the COVID-19 vaccine?”
Senator Kennedy said, “No, I don’t think we ought to mandate that anybody get the vaccine. I don’t know what the -- I think that probably a legislature has the authority to pass a law mandating it, but I just think telling people what they can do and can’t do in terms of the vaccine is just counterproductive.”
“I think that the best approach is just saying, look, this is America, if you don’t want to take it, you shouldn’t, or not you shouldn’t, you don’t have to, but you ought to take it,” said Kennedy. “I mean, I’ve taken two shots. I’ll take two more, if they recommend it. But I just think it’s counterproductive to just tell people what they have to do, okay?”
Hundreds of colleges across the country are requiring students to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus for the 2021-2022 school year, and many local school districts are considering similar mandates for their public schools.
Virginia Tech is among the hundreds of universities that are now requiring students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, offering limited exemptions “for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands wrote in his announcement of the mandate.
However, for students who receive exemptions, the school may still “order your exclusion from the university” in the event of an outbreak.
Indiana University (IU) is also disallowing any unvaccinated students to return in the fall and is not offering online education options.
“IU has outlined strong consequences for those who choose not to meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement and do not receive an exemption,” the university’s website states, consequences that include cancelling their registration and terminating their student ID.
“This is saving lives, it’s as simple as that, and it will enable us to have a normal fall semester,” said IU President Michael A. McRobbie.
The Biden administration continues to promote vaccination and, on July 14, pop-star Olivia Rodrigo will visit the White House to encourage young people to get vaccinated.
Since April 21, 2021, over a thousand cases of myocarditis and pericarditis, heart inflammatory diseases, have been reported in young people after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, as is reported on the CDC’s website. However, the CDC is still encouraging children 12 and up to get the vaccine, claiming the benefits outweigh the risks.