Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
Jason S. Miyares
202 North 9th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
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ATTORNEY GENERAL MIYARES ISSUES LEGAL OPINION THAT PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES CANNOT MANDATE COVID-19 VACCINE FOR STUDENTS
RICHMOND, VA – Attorney General Miyares has issued a legal opinion that Virginia’s state institutions of higher education cannot require the COVID-19 vaccine as a general condition of students’ enrollment or in-person attendance.
Attorney General Miyares highlights in the opinion that “as recognized in the prior opinion, ‘[t]here is no question that the General Assembly could enact a statute requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for in-person school attendance.’
As of this writing, it has not done so. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly has amended other statutes to address pandemic-related issues.”
Additionally, Miyares writes that “Although the General Assembly specifically authorized public institutions of higher education to assist the Department of Health and local health departments in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, the legislation did not grant such institutions power to impose vaccine requirements.”
While Attorney General Miyares is vaccinated and boosted and encourages everyone to get the vaccination, nowhere in the Code of Virginia does the law say that Virginia public institutions can require vaccinations as a condition of enrollment or in-person attendance.