For Joshua Hauser, a junior at the University of California Berkeley, the requirement to get a COVID-19 vaccine before fall semester is like getting a plum campus housing assignment. “People are really excited about getting the vaccine on campus,” he says. “It will help us feel safe at school.” And he’s hopeful it will mean a return to normal. “On Zoom, that’s all we talk about — we just wish we were together in person.”
Beginning in late March, some U.S. colleges and universities began issuing requirements for students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they want to return to campus this autumn. Some policies include faculty and staff. What began as a handful of colleges soon turned into dozens by mid April, and to date, some 350 institutions have issued such policies — even though all three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. remain under emergency use authorization (EUA) status, and not approved.
Broad mandates in the civilian population of an unapproved product are unprecedented, and the legality may ultimately be answered in court. So at some institutions, the mandates come with fine print. The University of California System policy, for example, is marked DRAFT in red and will go into effect only if a vaccine receives full approval.
Other institutions are using the word “approval” more loosely, leaving room for ambiguity. In its March 25 announcement, Rutgers, a public university in New Jersey, refers to “three vaccines currently approved in the United States.” The University of Massachusetts Lowell initially stated that a mandate would not be legal, then flipped to issue a requirement for students. In an email to The BMJ, the university clarified that “students do not need to get a COVID-19 vaccination immediately, they simply need to be fully vaccinated with a U.S. approved COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus in the fall.”…
What does it say about an institution that it’s ignorant of natural immunity? Or that it has no qualms about experimenting on their students? This is cult-like behavior. Who would want to spend money at such a place?
What happened to higher education?