SOUTH BEND — Indiana University's vaccination requirement will stand, at least for the start of the fall semester.

A federal judge sided with IU in an opinion issued early Monday morning after eight students challenged the public university's requirement that all students and employees receive a vaccine before the start of the fall semester.

IU’s policy, announced this spring, will require all students, faculty and staff in the fall semester to be fully vaccinated either by Aug. 15 or when returning to campus after Aug. 1, whichever is earlier.

The university will recognize certain medical and religious exemptions to its requirement, but IU officials say unvaccinated students will need to continue following some coronavirus mitigation strategies the university is easing for other students who are fully vaccinated.

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The students' lawyer, James Bopp Jr., argued in court last week that the vaccine requirement violates students' rights to bodily integrity, informed choice of medical treatment and religious freedom, essentially forcing them to choose between getting vaccinated and continuing their education at IU.

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