University System of Maryland could require COVID-19 vaccinations

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh wrote that in his view, the University System of Maryland could legally require COVID-19 vaccinations for people returning to campus.

In an advisory letter in response to Maryland state Sen. James Rosapepe, Frosh wrote mandatory vaccinations could be required “if USM has sufficient evidence that mandatory vaccinations are reasonably required to protect the public health and safety.”

“USM would likely have to provide reasonable accommodations for medical conditions or religious objections,” Frosh’s letter said.

“The opinion makes clear that there can be exceptions,” Rosapepe said. “So it’s not all or nothing.”

Rosapepe, whose district includes College Park, said the guidance provided by Frosh is not surprising “because we require vaccinations for kids to go to kindergarten.”

The letter is not a formal legal opinion, but it does provide guidance on the issue.

The University System of Maryland, which consists of 12 campuses, including the University of Maryland at College Park, has been weighing the question of whether to require vaccinations.

Asked whether the letter from Frosh changes the current policy at USM, spokesman Mike Lurie said in an email to WTOP:

“The University System of Maryland continues to review all the issues associated with a return to campus in the fall and the measures it will undertake to maintain the health and safety of our campus communities. At this point, system leadership has made no determination with respect to vaccinations.”

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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