Vaccine mandate for Nevada college students struck down in split vote

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada college students will no longer be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to attend classes in a new policy change. Any holds placed on student registrations for those who are unvaccinated will be lifted immediately.

In a split 6-6 vote, the legislative commission voted not to continue the emergency vaccine regulation that was approved in August of this year. The striking of the vaccine mandate on campuses includes UNLV, UNR, AND CSN. The vote also struck down a vaccine mandate for state workers who interact with vulnerable populations.

The vote comes more than a month after students were required to get the vaccine in order to enroll for the spring semester.

“I’m not very favorable of mandates, but I did have to make the decision, a decision to where I did feel a bit a bit forced into and pressured into,” says Issac Hernandez, a senior at UNLV. “I’m thinking in my head I guess that I should never have gotten the vaccine.”

According to Hernandez, the inconsistency is confusing for students: “To install a mandate and then override it months after the deadline was already due, it’s so inconsistent and I know for a fact a lot of students are outraged at the moment.”

Andy Zuker, a student at UNR, expressed frustration over the decision to 8 News Now’s Kate Houston.

“More representation of fully vaccinated people could balance both vaccine hesitancy and extreme vaccine refusal. It would be nice to remind audiences that tens of millions of us got the shots and it was no big deal, and that life can go on if we can cooperate on this,” says Zuker. “It was clear that the mandate really improved vaccination rates and cases went down.”

Although the legislative committee did not support the early approval of the mandate, the state plans to present the regulations again.

“We had another thousand cases in Nevada today, this is the second day in a row we’ve had a thousand or more cases. It’s obviously on the upswing. We need to do everything we can do to control this Omicron, and hopefully not have another huge surge like other states are experiencing,” says Governor Sisolak in response to the vote.

Employees at Nevada colleges are still required to be vaccinated, and masks remain required indoors.

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