Auburn University had last week set a Dec. 8 deadline for university employees to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Bryan Harsin, the head football coach, declined Monday to reveal whether he had or would receive the vaccine.
Harsin refused to discuss his vaccination status with the SEC media days back in July. He said that it was a personal decision for each person. His Monday comments were his first since Oct. 22 when the university changed its vaccine policy and required all employees to get fully vaccinated.
Harsin, who is in his first season at Auburn, stated that he was aware of the new policy.
"I think that I made it clear from the beginning that this wasn't something that I was going talk about or discuss, and that I wasn't going down that path. "I don't think that's the case right now."
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"We are focused on Ole Miss. Harsin stated that we are focusing on what we need to do in order to be prepared for this week. "... Although we've had these conversations about the vaccine, it doesn't change my previous statements.
Auburn's new policy states that there may be rare circumstances in which an employee can legally request a religious or medical accommodation to avoid being required to get the vaccine. Employees must have proof of vaccination by Dec. 8, or they will be required to get the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines before Nov. 24, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine after Nov. 24.
Harsin was positive for COVID-19 on August. He stated at the time that he wasn't "anti-vaccine" but that any narrative that might be interpreted as such was "misinformed."
Harsin stated in August that he supports the right of anyone to vaccinate. He also supported reliable data-driven information being available for those who have questions. "Anyone who has ever been to our facility knows this."
Washington State fired Nick Rolovich, head football coach, and four assistant coaches last week after they refused compliance with a mandate that all state employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Rolovich is suing Washington State to stop illegal termination. This lawsuit stems in part from what he calls "discriminatory, vindictive behavior" of Pat Chun, the athletic director.
Alabama's Nick Saban is one of the college football coaches who has made public service announcements to urge their fans to get vaccinated.