Baylor will no longer require employee vaccinations after federal ruling

Photo courtesy of Baylor Photography

By Rachel Royster | News Editor

On Tuesday in Augusta, Ga., U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker issued a preliminary injunction halting the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for all federal contractors — a mandate that had required all Baylor faculty, staff and student employees to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 18.

Now, due to Baker issuing a stay to block any nationwide implementation of the mandate, Baylor will no longer require those federally contracted university employees to be vaccinated.

“Earlier today, Baylor University learned that a U.S. federal judge in Georgia issued a nationwide injunction against the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors, which had included the University,” Tuesday’s university update read. “In light of this ruling, Baylor University is no longer legally compelled to require that its employees be vaccinated and will not be requiring its employees to be vaccinated at this time.”

Baker found that the Biden administration exceeded its congressional power by issuing the mandate in September.

“Accordingly, the Court orders that Defendants (President Joseph R. Biden administration) are enjoined, during the pendency of this action or until further order of this Court, from enforcing the vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in all covered contracts in any state or territory of the United States of America,” the court’s conclusion read.

The update clarified the requirement of the mandate may be subject to change given the changeable nature of the court’s decision.

“Please note that just as there continues to be uncertainty with COVID-19, the legal environment regarding the pandemic remains fluid as well,” the university update read. “The university continues to monitor both closely and will provide updates to the campus as necessary.”

Baylor spokesperson Lori Fogleman said although Baylor has not required COVID-19 vaccinations for faculty or students to attend the university, the vaccine rates have remained high.

“Testing also continues on campus although it is voluntary for the final two weeks of the fall semester as we have fewer events and our case counts remain manageable,” Fogleman said.