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Colleges Requiring COVID-19 Vaccine for Fall Term

By: Ashtyn Frazier

CHATTANOOGA, TN ( Many colleges in the U.S. are requiring students to be fully vaccinated for the upcoming fall term to ensure safety and return to normalcy after the pandemic. 

Vaccine study now open for student enrollment | Illinois
Student gets vaccine.

Several colleges in Tennessee have already announced mandatory vaccinations. This includes Maryville College, Rhodes College, and Vanderbilt University.

Vice Chancellor for Administration at Vanderbilt, Eric Kopstain, says ‘“Our plans for a robust fall semester give us hope for a future past COVID-19, but we can only achieve our goals through continued diligence and recognition of important safety precautions like getting vaccinated.”’

Mandatory vaccinations have raised the question of if students are willing to get vaccinated or not. A study by College Finance states that 88% of college students want to get vaccinated for the fall term. It stated that seven out of ten students surveyed believed that colleges should make the vaccine mandatory. 

The possible side effects of the vaccine may be a contributing factor to students that do not plan on getting vaccinated. Possible side effects include: fever, nausea, muscle pain, headache, and tiredness.

The recent vaccine mandate at Rutgers University sent 300 “medical freedom activists,” to rally against the requirement. Rutgers’ mandate came after having 2,427 students get COVID-19 at their campuses in New Brunswick, Camden, and Newark. 

Hundreds Turn Up To Protest Rutgers' Vaccine Mandate For Students | New  Brunswick, NJ Patch
Activists gather at Rutgers College.

Many parents and students spoke out in hopes of “educating” others on the COVID-19 vaccine. Conservative Legislatures also spoke at the rally, questioning the vaccine’s effectiveness. The activists chanted “My body, my choice,” and “Our kids, our choice.”

Brandi Clarke, a Rutgers graduate, stated that students shouldn’t be forced to do something they are not comfortable with. 

“We as the students should not be put in the position of having to choose between our beliefs and education,” Clarke said. “I disagree with being coerced or forced into doing something that goes against my values or makes me feel uncomfortable.”
A study by Road2College asked parents how they feel about colleges requiring mandatory vaccinations. Most parents believed that college was a “universal right” and should be mandated. Parents that had mixed feelings still believed that vaccines should be actively available for students.

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