Colleges should have vaccine mandates


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A vaccine mandate for all universities, public and private, will save the U.S. billions of dollars, and speed up the process for return to complete in-person instruction.

By Nur Yavuz, Social Media Manager

As the vaccine rollout continues throughout the US, and the school year comes to a close, colleges are beginning to require vaccination for their first year students in the fall of 2021. Along with mask mandates, the vaccination mandate for COVID-19 can assist schools in having secure in-person instruction for the 2021 to 2022 school year. 

As reported by Our World In Data, 43.3 percent of the population in Maryland has been fully vaccinated as of May 21, and 38.9 percent of the entire United States has been fully vaccinated. COVID-19 cases are consistently dropping, and slowly enough, people are beginning to return to their normal lives. 

Earlier in the year, colleges were hubs for contracting COVID-19, especially schools that still had students staying in dorms. Colleges in North Dakota had the highest COVID-19 rates on campus for that reason. The extra safety measure of requiring full vaccinations from students is extremely beneficial to decreasing transmission and increasing the speed of return to normal life before the pandemic. 

Most of the colleges that implemented mandates for required COVID-19 vaccinations consist of private schools, including many of the well known ivy leagues. The rest of the public and private universities are still in the process of figuring out the legality of the mandate with their states.

Planning to obtain a vaccine mandate is not as easy as it seems. The University of Florida has not implemented a mandate, however they have provided students with a mass vaccination site, which is another option if legal measures are difficult to get around. The important question is if courts will allow such a thing to happen, as most vaccination mandates are centered around adults in the healthcare industry. 

States like Arizona banned vaccination mandates for public schools, which can be overcome with the solution of mass vaccination sites, and some states have even exempted students from mandatory vaccination if they will not be partaking in class on campus.

COVID-19 vaccine mandates should not be limited to students that are only on campus. Students who might not be on campus likely live close enough to be in the surrounding community of colleges. According to the “New York Times,” 87 percent of students live off campus, either with their parents or as roommates in the surrounding area of the school. 

For other states, many campuses require other vaccinations. According to Best Colleges, students are required to be vaccinated for other viral diseases, like mumps, measles, and rubella. 

Vaccination for all college students allows for a more accurate representation of the normal university experience. Not only will social activities be safer, but so will instruction as many classes will be likely to return to in person.

A benefit of a vaccine mandate will also help save millions of dollars spent on COVID-19 testing and quarantine expenses. As published by the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. government plans to spend 10 billion dollars on COVID-19 screening for in-person instruction preparation. 

Anyone can set up appointments at their nearest pharmacies and grocery stores, which is very convenient. On top of that, the COVID-19 vaccine is completely free of charge, being available to all types of households. 

Along with the mask mandate that many schools have implemented, safety measures are in place as universities plan on opening all in person classes along with the option of hybrid classes that were already in place before the pandemic. 

Not only will the vaccine mandate be beneficial to students on campus who look forward to safe social interactions, their families, friends, teachers and many other acquaintances will prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Overall, there are no negative side effects to implementing COVID-19 vaccine mandates on all college campuses. Universities will be able to keep their students and teachers safe, save money that would be spent on COVID-19 testing, and improve the quality of student life on campus.