Image by Leah Boone
As August approaches and students prepare to go to college, many schools have begun to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine before students attend. However, with this decision comes multiple different reactions.
According to CNN, as of April 8, 2021, over 14 universities nationwide are requiring a vaccine. Some of these universities include: Cornell University, Brown University, Rutgers University, the University of Notre Dame, Duke University and more. However, there are negative reactions as well as potential legal issues regarding this mandate. One of the main concerns is simple, yet could very well cause many issues: what if students refuse to get the vaccine?
During an interview by CBS News with Jonathan Holloway, president of Rutgers University, CBS reporter Meg Oliver asked Holloway what the university would do if they did have students who did not want the vaccine.
“There are always going to be exemptions for religious reasons and for health reasons,” said Holloway. “For those who simply don’t want to, the fact is, there are lots of other options for them, for their education. I hate to say it that harshly, but that’s the fact we will have the safest possible campus.”
I am sure if there are parents, faculty, or even students who feel very strongly against this mandate, court procedures will be attempted and legal issues will come into play. However, I stand with each university requiring it and wholeheartedly believe it is a very smart decision.
While many argue the COVID-19 vaccine is not to be trusted because of how quickly it was made and mass-produced, I disagree. With a worldwide pandemic killing millions at an exponential rate, a vaccine needs to be created quickly, so doctors and scientists worked extremely diligently.
There are already multiple vaccines required by colleges and universities, so what is so different about this one? All universities are attempting to do is to maintain the safety of everyone on campus as well as hasten the return to a normal school year.
I fully stand by each university mandating the COVID-19 vaccination, and very much hope the university I am attending next year will consider doing the same. As someone who has had to stay extremely safe during the pandemic due to immunocompromised family members, a vaccine mandate would make me feel a million times safer.
I know regardless of what university requires or does not require it, there will be backlash. However, I believe it is much more vital to take steps to ensure the safety of everyone on university campuses than to worry about potential negative responses.