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Long Island News

Merchant Marine cadets will be held to the academy’s COVID-19 vaccine policy

Merchant Marine Academy incoming Class of 2018
LCDR Amber Lewis
/
U.S. Navy
Midshipmen and plebe candidates stand in formation at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point on Long Island. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

The Merchant Marine Academy on Long Island is allowed to require COVID-19 vaccinations for cadets, according to a federal judge who threw out a legal challenge to the mandate brought by six cadets.

The judge called the vaccine requirement a “rational policy decision” to protect public health.

Six cadets had sued the academy last month after the school announced that students had until December 28 to get fully vaccinated. The cadets said the mandate violated their constitutional right to due process. The government argued that the requirement would not cause any harm to the students.

Unvaccinated students can request an exemption. If they don’t, they could be disciplined or get kicked out of school.

A federal judge threw out a similar case this summer against the University of Connecticut.

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