AUBURN — First-year Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin declined to disclose whether he has received a COVID-19 vaccine Monday.
He was asked about his vaccination status in regard to the new policy that was announced Friday, requiring all Auburn University employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.
Harsin said he is aware of the policy, which stems from an executive order signed by President Joe Biden on Sept. 9, but “it doesn’t change the fact that I’m not going to discuss any individual’s decision or status on the vaccine, or anyone else’s, including my own.”
“From the beginning, I think I’ve made it clear that that wasn’t something that I was going to talk about or discuss,” Harsin said. “I wasn’t going to go down that road and don’t feel like right now that’s any different.”
In July at SEC Media Days, Harsin declined to say whether he was vaccinated, calling it a personal choice and emphasizing that he wanted to bring in experts to educate his players on the vaccine. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 20 and missed 10 days of Auburn’s preseason practices, rejoining the team five days before his first game as head coach.
While he was in quarantine, Harsin held a Zoom press conference in which he stated he is not anti-vaccine but did not share his status.
Auburn University announced all faculty members are required to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8. Only employees legally entitled to a religious or medical exception will be accommodated. As of Oct. 21, Auburn said at least 82 percent of employees with university-sponsored benefits were fully or partially vaccinated.
To be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, employees receiving the Moderna shot are required to have their first dose by Oct. 27 and second dose by Nov. 24. Employees receiving the Pfizer shot are required to have the first dose by Nov. 3 and the second by Nov. 24. And those getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine must receive the shot by Nov. 24.
Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches were fired last week after declining to follow the mandate for state employees to get vaccinated.