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Unvaccinated Student Denied Admission Despite Medical Exemption


An incoming college student has reportedly been denied admission into Brigham Young University (BYU)–Hawaii for not being vaccinated due to a rare medical condition.

Diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome that left her paralyzed for more than a month, Olivia Sandor explained to Fox News that her dream school has not allowed her to enroll despite the fact that she presented an exemption letter from her doctor.

BYU announced in June that its Hawaii campus will require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before in-person classes resume in the fall. However, it stated that students could request exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

Sandor said the university denied her admission despite her being granted $200,000 in scholarships due to “state vaccination policies.”

“I do not want to relapse and have another episode of Guillain-Barre. It’s really, truly not worth it to me,” she explained. “I truly believe that the vaccine is not meant for me. And if you feel that it’s necessary for you to get vaccinated, then by all means; I have nothing against you. But I do not feel that those with medical exemptions should be pushed to have this vaccine.”

University Response

After requesting a vaccine mandate exemption, Sandor said she received an email from BYU–Hawaii indicating that her request had been carefully considered. However, the school stated that it could not accommodate her appeal.

“Due to our unique location, diverse student population, and daily interaction with international tourists at the Polynesian Cultural Center, we must take extra precautions to protect our campus and community,” the university explained.

BYU–Hawaii told Sandor to consider attending the school when vaccinated or enroll at one of its other campuses without a vaccine mandate.


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‘Nowhere to Turn’

Sandor said that she does not know what steps to take next after being denied admission into BYU–Hawaii and losing the scholarships she worked so hard for. “All those scholarships are gone. I really don’t know where I’m going to turn or what my next steps are,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, American radiologist and Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier expressed her view that schools should be flexible regarding their COVID-19 policies because unvaccinated students with medical conditions will not place anyone else at risk if they prove that they are virus-free through testing or quarantining.

“As long as she is continuing to protect herself from COVID-19, whether it be masking or whatever she’s doing, I would also be just as afraid of the viral infection,” the doctor explained.

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