Cabrini to require COVID-19 vaccine

By Matthew Rutherford
July 15, 2021

"Covid Vaccine Card" (CC BY-NC 2.0) by focalphoto
"Covid Vaccine Card" (CC BY-NC 2.0) by focalphoto

Cabrini is following in the footsteps of many other schools in its updated mask and social distancing guidance and vaccine requirement for the fall 2021 semester. 

All students, faculty and staff received an email on June 27 with the new regulations for the upcoming semester. President Donald Taylor sent out the email with a video attached where he further explained the content of the email. 

“In listening to our own community and in consultation with internal and external experts, we believe a fully vaccinated campus community is essential to ensure a safe return to a more traditional in-person and on-campus Cabrini experience that our community has so strongly indicated they want for the fall 2021 semester,” President Taylor said in the email. 

COVID-19 immunizations begin by BC Gov Photos, on Flickr
“COVID-19 immunizations begin” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by BC Gov Photos

A week after the initial email from the president was sent out, Dean of Students, Dr. Stephen Rupperchet sent out an email requiring all students to fill out a short vaccination survey that must be completed by all students by Friday July 2. The survey asks students what their vaccination status is, which vaccine they received, and asks them when they received their most recent dose of the vaccine. If the student is fully vaccinated, the survey also asks for a copy of their COVID-19 vaccine record card.

With the recent announcement, effective immediately, those who are fully vaccinated do not have to practice the six-foot social distancing rule nor do they have to wear a mask on campus. The new mask and social distancing guideline directly follows the guidelines put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The CDC made the recommendation that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks indoors back in May. 

The news does not come as a surprise to many as the university is just one of the many schools across the country requiring the vaccine in order to get back to face to face learning. Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey became the first school to require the vaccine for the Fall 2021 semester back in late March of 2020. You can find an updated list here on the growing number of schools that are requiring the vaccine across the country. 

With Cabrini being a Catholic institution, it is worth noting that as of June 18, 13 of the 40 largest Catholic universities in the US are forgoing the vaccine requirement.

According to a survey of over 2,000 college students conducted by Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse, roughly seven in 10 students “strongly” or “somewhat” support a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for those returning to campus in the fall.

The survey also found that 64 percent of students had been vaccinated already, and another 21 percent said they planned to as of May 2. Just 15 percent said they did not want to be vaccinated.

Of all students who said they opposed a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, 40 percent said they would “definitely” or “probably” leave their school if it required them to be vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccine is not the first vaccine to be required by schools. Many schools require measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), human papillomavirus (HPV), meningococcal and influenza vaccinations. 

Glass Bottle with Sars-Covid-19 Vaccine by ShebleyCL, on Flickr
“Glass Bottle with Sars-Covid-19 Vaccine” (CC BY 2.0) by ShebleyCL

Cabrini usually has seven required immunizations, but with the new addition of the COVID-19 vaccine, there are now eight required. The seven that the university has all students take are tetanus/diphtheria, polio, MMR, Hepatitis B vaccine series, Varicella vaccine series, meningococcal vaccine A, C, Y, and W-135 or menactra vaccine, meningococcal group B vaccine series. All the information on required vaccinations for Cabrini can be found here

Matthew Rutherford

2 thoughts on “Cabrini to require COVID-19 vaccine”

  1. As a Catholic organization I’m surprised this is a requirement. It’s a personal choice to get vaccinated. 

  2. Hi Lisa, Thanks for your comment. As a Catholic university, we are committed to the Common Good and caring for the most vulnerable among us, as Jesus taught. In our community, we have recent cancer survivors, students with asthma and other health concerns. So as a community, we are glad to be vaccinated in order to lessen the chances of others being harmed by COVID. Hope you understand why we put the Common Good over personal choice.

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