Republicans on the Maine legislature’s joint committee on education and cultural affairs today called on the University of Maine system to follow the lead of the Maine Community College system and drop the requirement that students be vaccinated against COVID-19 before enrolling.
The Maine Community College system scrapped its vaccination requirement for students throughout the state earlier this month.
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In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Heidi Sampson (R-Alfred), Sen. James Libby (R-Cumberland), Rep. Sheila A. Lyman (R-Livermore Falls), Rep. Edward J. Polewarczyk (R-Wiscasset), and Rep. Barbara A. Bagshaw (R-Windham) said it’s time for the University of Maine to open its doors to everyone.
“Current science is clear that the policy requiring that all University of Maine System students be vaccinated no longer serves its original purpose and is now detrimental to student learning, student enrollment, and student health,” the legislators pointed out in what could be reference the noted Lancet medical journal recently conceding that natural immunity is just as effective as the vaccines.
“The public recognizes that what we know about science has changed and the public University system must change as well in order to better serve the learning, health and emotional wellbeing of our students. We commend Maine’s Community College System for recognizing this and showing leadership in lifting the vaccination requirement,” the legislative Republicans concluded.
While many U.S. colleges and universities do require vaccination of students, not all do. State universities in Florida, Texas, North Carolina and a handful of other states do not. Some institutions that have required students to get vaccinated have expressed concern about lost tuition revenue over the course of the pandemic.