Debating Vaccine Mandates on Campus

Editor’s note: This Future View discusses college vaccine mandates. Next, we’ll ask about the coming financial compensation of college athletes: “Is the old idea of the ‘student athlete’ finished?” Students should click here to submit opinions of fewer than 250 words before July 13. The best responses will be published that night.

Follow the Science, Please?

Administrators imposing vaccine mandates are willfully blind to certain medical facts. First, students who have already had Covid possess natural immunity and shouldn’t be required to take a vaccine—especially one authorized on an emergency basis—to continue their education. All other vaccinations that colleges require, like meningococcal vaccines, have full Food and Drug Administration approval. That sort of draconian measure is even less appropriate considering that most college students are at minuscule risk of serious illness or hospitalization from Covid.

Students who prefer to rely on their natural immunity or have reasonable concerns about the vaccine shouldn’t be deprived of the opportunity to educate themselves. Those students and faculty who are more concerned about the risks are free to take the vaccine. They will be safe whether or not those around them partake. All that a vaccine mandate would do is instill a general sense of safety. But is that enough to justify keeping students out of college?

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