BOISE, Idaho — Students in Boise State University's radiology department will soon need to get the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the university made it clear the vaccine requirement was not the school's decision, but rather the medical providers it has partnerships with.
While Idaho Governor Brad Little banned "vaccine passports" on the state level, which includes Boise State since it's a state institution, some of Idaho's biggest healthcare providers announced that they will require employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Boise State has clinical partnerships for its College of Health Sciences with Saint Alphonsus, St. Luke's and Primary Health. After the health systems announced their new requirement, Boise State's radiology department emailed students, stating they had until the first day of the fall semester, August 23, to get the COVID-19 vaccine or risk losing their spot in the program.
"We do understand that this news may not be what some of you wish to hear, and want you to know that this is solely coming from our clinical partners and not Boise State University," the school said in an email.
That email caught the eye of one Idaho lawmaker, Republican Rep. Chad Christensen, who shared the email on social media with the caption, "Here is BSU's threatening email, telling students they must be vaccinated for covid."
Christensen spoke with The 208 on Tuesday and conceded that it's not a state entity requiring the vaccine.
"I see both sides of that. I see that this is coming from these clinical partners, but I also see Boise State facilitating this in a sense by putting this letter out and saying you're required to do it," he said.
He added that he doesn't want to put all of the blame on Boise State, but wanted the school to stand up for students who don't want to be vaccinated.
"I'm all for employer rights, but I believe there's a line that shouldn't be crossed," Christensen said. "For me, this crosses a line if you're requiring to put something in their body, something that's health-related, something they don't believe in and that can alter their health, for the worse or for the better, it doesn't matter, but that crosses a line."
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