Hospitals and clinics across the state of Alaska need more health professionals. But at Charter College in Anchorage, where medical workers can get training and certifications, the nursing students are being told that if they don’t take the Covid-19 vaccine, they will not be allowed to attend this fall.
“For clarification, the College’s communication pertaining clinical requirements is not a mandate, it is a new clinical requirement based on communication received from our clinical partners,” the college wrote to one student in a sentence that shifts the responsibility to hospitals that are now requiring of their practitioners.n
“The College does not assume any responsibility for immunization and health requirements that clinical agencies and the state of Alaska require to practice nursing, much like Measles, Tuberculosis, Influenza, and other immunizations that were required to enter the nursing program,” the email said.
All students must provide proof of vaccination by Oct. 8, 2021 prior to attending clinical hours.
The students who abstain from the jab will be withdrawn from the college, the note said. Students who abstain from the vaccine are not eligible for “the Leave of Absence-COVID-19.”
It’s hard to know if the mandate would, er, stick if a student challenged it in court.
This week, a Louisiana judge granted a temporary restraining order against Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine’s requirement that students get vaccinated as a condition for their enrollment.
“Even during a pandemic, we must protect the rights of our citizens,” said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. “I’m pleased with the court’s decision and glad these students can focus on what’s important; their education.”
Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill, on behalf of the Attorney General, worked with the plaintiff students and their attorney in achieving the victory.
“This is a win for the people of Louisiana who have sincerely held religious convictions and other reservations about these vaccines,” Murrill said. “The bottom line is that the law and constitution still apply. We are grateful to Judge Doughty for protecting their rights and upholding the rule of law, and we will continue to work toward an acceptable resolution.”
“We’re very happy with the decision,” said Michael DuBos, the attorney representing the VCOM students. “We feel it is important to respect individual rights, especially in a time of crisis. If not, it sets a dangerous precedent.”