Many, including myself, are extremely pleased that the University has finally adopted a mandatory vaccination requirement for COVID-19. However, allowing a religious exemption is unwarranted and unnecessary.
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a case from Maine challenging that state’s vaccination mandate for health care workers that has no religious exemption, and a U.S. Court of Appeals did the same in the case of New York City health care workers.
There is no earthly (or even heavenly) reason why “religious beliefs” should exempt one from a valid public health measure. Pitt was late to the game in establishing a vaccination mandate, and it should not repeat this mistake by permitting a religious exemption.
Professor Emeritus of Law