Many colleges making 'very troubling' choice

Thursday, April 15, 2021
Chris Woodward (

person receiving vaccine injectionWhether college students should be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine is an issue over which universities are divided, but one RN and advocate for health freedom can see why so many people are hesitant to fall in line.

Though the White House insists there will be no database of those who have – or have not – gotten a vaccine, and there will also be no federal mandate requiring one, the Associated Press reports that Rutgers, Brown, Cornell, and Northwestern are among the universities that recently told students they must get vaccinated before returning to campus next fall.

Some colleges are leaving the decision to students, and others believe they cannot legally require vaccinations. For example, Virginia Tech officials said they cannot require students get the COVID-19 vaccine because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only allowed the emergency use of the vaccines and has not given them its full approval.

Twila Brase, RN and president/co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, makes a similar point.

"They cannot promise safety or efficacy, and so … the idea that the colleges would mandate that any of their students, whether they're [meeting] in person or not in person, be vaccinated in order to continue school -- that would be very troubling, because we don't even know the long-term effects yet of the vaccine," notes Brase. "That's why there is a hesitancy at all sorts of levels and in all sorts of groups of people as to whether or not they want to take the vaccine."

The Marines and healthcare workers are included in those groups.

"40% of Marines are declining a COVID-19 vaccine," relays Brase. "Up to around 50% of healthcare workers have decided not to get vaccinated, so, undoubtedly there are probably questions even amongst the staff of different colleges, let alone the students."

Brase, Twila (CCHF)Still, other organizations, including faith-based ministries, believe the vaccine is safe and necessary to achieve herd immunity. Some individuals and special interest groups have also pointed out that colleges already require certain vaccinations in order for enrollment, so one for COVID-19 should simply be added to the list.

"Let us just be clear about what a vaccine is," responds Brase. "Lots of the other vaccines are actually vaccines, and they are approved, whereas these COVID-19 vaccines do not even fit the definition from the CDC for a vaccine."

A vaccine, she explains, is defined as such when it provides immunity, and the CDC's definition of immunity is when an illness is prevented, not spread with minimal symptoms. So in addition to the COVID-19 vaccines' lack of approval, they do not fit the federal government's definition.

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