On Jan. 28, Governor Hogan moved Maryland into Phase 1C for vaccinations against COVID-19. There is a portion of SU students now eligible to receive the vaccine.
However, a question now arises from this progress. Should SU require the vaccine for students to attend classes in-person and be present on-campus?
According to the MD Department of Health, the vaccine will be delivered to “those with essential functions related to campus operations (including, but not limited to, facilities, food service and housing staff), and faculty and staff who provide essential in-person learning that cannot be delivered remotely.”
The Flyer reached out to some students regarding their thoughts regarding SU and the COVID-19 vaccine.
Senior Brianna Johnson said that “COVID-19 vaccinations should be a personal choice.” Despite not agreeing with mandatory vaccinations, Brianna does think the required “COVID-19 test on campus [is] acceptable for keeping the virus contained.”
Junior Ellie Kessler does not believe students “should be forced to put something into [their] body if [they] are apprehensive or do not agree with it.” She also noted how “so many people right now are weary of the vaccine because the pandemic has [become] political.”
According to the SU COVID-19 vaccination webpage, the university is not currently requiring students or staff to receive the vaccine. There is still time for students to read, learn, listen and educate themselves about the vaccine to make an informative decision.
There are many who want to be vaccinated in hopes of a quick return to normal life. Others are still afraid of the unknown elements of the vaccine.
According to The Morning Call, Penn State University has already offered waiver forms for students with religious, medical or philosophical objections. If the vaccination becomes a requirement for SU, there should be a similar waiver to allow for the freedom to choose.
Maryland will continue to move through the distribution phases, allowing more SU students and staff members to become eligible for the treatment.
Other colleges around the country have been following this initiative by providing information and resources to students and staff. When there are more than enough vaccines, they can make their own choice. However, the choice to receive a vaccine is a personal one that should not be decided by a school.
By HAYLEE OLLEY
Staff photo by Ben Lausch.