The need for Covid-19 is increasingly felt in US colleges and universities. Some colleges like Brown, Ithaca College, Duke University, University of Notre Dame, Syracuse University, and Northeastern University have announced mandatory vaccinations for the students before they return to the campus.
Other universities to follow implement a similar rule include Rutgers University, Durango’s Fort Lewis College, Cornell University, Bristol’s Roger Williams University, Texas’s Edward University, and Nova Southeastern University. Several other universities are considering taking such measures against the novel Coronavirus.
Colleges To Continue With Vaccine Mandates
The spread of the virus in 2020 caused a major setback in the educational sector. While virtual classrooms replaced the conventional education method, students did not find it effective. So, to keep higher education on track, Lynn Pasquerella suggests that schools need to focus on mandating vaccines. Pasquerella is the president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
There are already various kinds of vaccinations that are held necessary for students to attend schools. These include whooping cough, diphtheria, polio, and tetanus. The new vaccination to join the list is the Covid-19 vaccine. And according to Jonathan Holloway, the President of Rutgers University, Covid vaccinations are an important measure to boost the immunity of college students.
In the US, the minimum age to become eligible for a dose of the covid vaccine is currently set at 16 years. The extension of vaccine mandates to the overseas students in the US universities is encouraging parents from countries like India to send their children to at least get vaccinated. Harpreet Singh, a resident of Delhi whose son has got admission to the Knox College of Illinois, rejoiced in the scope of her son to get vaccinated.
The emphasis of universities on vaccination is expected to play a crucial role in deciding the future of studies in foreign lands. As travel for education continues, universities are taking measures to ensure a healthy class of students. The availability of vaccines in a country will largely determine the decision of students when choosing a foreign university.
The first dose of vaccination was administered in the UK in January. Following the success, several nations are trying for a supply of the vaccine. The universities located in Canada have approached Canada’s government to provide vaccination to international students.
But despite the high vaccination drive in the US, parents are still hesitant towards vaccination. The results of a March poll conducted by an advocacy group called ParentsTogether indicated that 70 percent of parents are willing to get vaccinated themselves, but only 58 percent are ready to vaccinate their children. The hesitance is more prominent among the low socioeconomic families, minorities, and the Latino and Black people.
Universities are making considerations for cases that may involve religious, medical, or philosophical reasons for keeping away vaccination. Rutgers University, for instance, allows students an exemption from the vaccination on the above-mentioned grounds. Students who are enrolled in off-campus programs can also request an exemption.
But if the resistance to the Covid-19 vaccines continues, colleges should discuss with parents its positive impacts instead of withdrawing the mandate, says the co-founder of ParentsTogether Bethany Robertson.
Meanwhile, New York has rolled out its vaccine allocations for private and state-run colleges. While 21,000 vaccines are allocated to the state universities, 14,000 are reserved for private ones. New York intends to administer the vaccines to the students before they leave for the summer holidays. To get an appointment for the vaccine, students will have to contact their schools. This measure, which is taken in partnership with the medical providers of the state, will facilitate the process of vaccinating the masses.