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UT can require students to take flu & COVID-19 vaccines, though it's not mandatory yet

If the COVID-19 vaccine is approved and recommended by the CDC & TN Dept. of Health, UT could make it mandatory for students

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — The University of Tennessee can now require students to take the flu or COVID-19 vaccine, though officials have not made it mandatory yet.

The Board of Trustees met Friday morning to adopt a permanent student immunization rule.

While the board approved the rule, it doesn't mean that it goes immediately into effect. It just means they can take that final action if the COVID-19 vaccine is approved and recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Tennessee Department of Health

The Board requested that President Randy Boyd come back to the board prior to implementing the rule’s requirements with respect to the COVID-19 vaccine and ongoing flu vaccine.

The rule does allow several exemptions, including for students who are enrolled exclusively online and not participating in experiential learning, students who have a medical contraindication, or students who have a religious objection.

SPECIAL REPORT: What it's like to be part of a COVID-19 vaccine trial

The Board of Trustees also adopted a change to student codes to create a Title IX grievance procedure for resolving Title IX allegations involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking against students. 

The new Title IX regulations require that universities hold hearings to determine whether an accused party is responsible for an allegation.