Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) (Getty Images)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) — When asked whether public schools and colleges should require their students receive the COVID vaccine, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said she believes everyone should have the vaccine but added that she is “not prepared right now to answer” on mandating it.

At the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, CNS News asked the senator, “Should public schools and colleges be able to mandate that their students get the vaccine for COVID-19?”

Sen. Stabenow said, “Well, I think it is really important to have it, and so, you know, I’ll leave that up to them to decide. But certainly I believe everyone should have the vaccine. It’s a public health issue.”

CNS News asked again, “So should they be able to mandate it?”

“I’m not prepared right now to answer that,” said the senator.

Hundreds of colleges across the country are requiring students to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus for the 2021-2022 school year, and many local school districts are considering similar mandates for their public schools.

Virginia Tech is among the hundreds of universities that are now requiring students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, offering limited exemptions “for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands wrote in his announcement of the mandate.

However, for students who receive exemptions, the school may still “order your exclusion from the university” in the event of an outbreak.

Indiana University (IU) is also disallowing any unvaccinated students to return in the fall and is not offering online education options.

“IU has outlined strong consequences for those who choose not to meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement and do not receive an exemption,” the university’s website states, consequences that include cancelling their registration and terminating their student ID.

“This is saving lives, it’s as simple as that, and it will enable us to have a normal fall semester,” said IU President Michael A. McRobbie.

The Biden administration continues to promote vaccination and, on July 14, pop-star Olivia Rodrigo will visit the White House to encourage young people to get vaccinated.

Since April 21, 2021, over a thousand cases of myocarditis and pericarditis, heart inflammatory diseases, have been reported in young people after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, as is reported on the CDC’s website. However, the CDC is still encouraging children 12 and up to get the vaccine, claiming the benefits outweigh the risks.

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