For months, the COVID-19 vaccine has been distributed and preached. Now, states, schools and other residencies are requiring the vaccine for re-entry. Cabrini University is a private Catholic institution that is now requiring students, faculty and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The institution cannot force their community to get the vaccine (those who have a religious or medical exemption) but they can enforce their mask mandate, social distancing and handwashing protocols. As with most political views, there’s a population of people that don’t believe in the vaccine, think it has the virus in it or think the entire virus is a hoax.
The School’s Approach
An email sent to students, faculty and staff from Cabrini President Donald Taylor on June 17 said, “with this goal in mind, we are requiring all students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated by August 15, 2021—which means receiving the final dose of your vaccination by August 1.” He also included that, “for those who cannot be vaccinated, either due to a medical condition or religious belief, an exemption process will be available.” There are other technical issues surrounding this announcement: What are the choices for those who have an excuse but live on-campus? If students don’t want the vaccine can they do online learning? What are the penalties if students, faculty and staff are found to lie about their vaccination?
My greatest concern grew when this email was sent because I know students will lie or make up an excuse, then continue to not wear a mask. I know students who have already walked around cities and suburbs with no vaccination and no mask, and it hurts me to know there are so many individuals who don’t care for others’ health or have simple respect. I know I was raised differently, but watching close friends and family disobey the CDC, county and state rules poses a risk to my health and that of others.
I reached out to Residence life and President Taylor on June 17 after going through the portal to see what kind of system was in place to figure out if someone is truthfully vaccinated or lying. Shortly after reaching out, Cabrini sent another email on June 24 asking students to complete a different survey WITH the choice to upload their vaccination card as proof they are in the process of getting vaccinated or fully vaccinated. There was a note of discretion before taking the survey that said, “Students who do not comply with this Vaccination Status Survey and/or the vaccination requirement, or do not pursue a valid exemption, will not be permitted on campus.” This brought up more questions that have no answers.
I clearly have a very strong stance on why people should receive the vaccine regardless of any rumor, statistic or random fact they heard. The reason why I feel so strongly about this topic is because of the situations I’ve been in. One example was a recent conversation with a male friend on campus. He asked me on Feb. 13, if I was getting the vaccine. I responded yes if I’m qualified to receive it or was fortunate enough to get it. He proceeded to tell me about his grandfather who’s had many open-heart surgeries, goes out all the time, won’t get the vaccine, continues to live out his best life and has never caught COVID-19.
He continued to tell me about all the so-called reported blood infections that the vaccine has caused, I asked what source he found these facts on and he said, “oh I don’t know but they’re reliable.” So, being the strong, opinionated self I am, I asked if he found it on Reddit or New York Times but he had no answer besides, “I just know they’re reliable.” To summarize what he was telling me, he believes COVID-19 is a joke and he won’t receive the vaccine no matter what.
I see friends and family drink, smoke and involve themselves with other substances that have many unknown long-term effect(s). So it puzzles me when someone tells me they don’t believe in the vaccine but vape, smoke, take contraceptives, etc. There’s a variety of unknowns in those substances but the vaccine uses science, statistical evidence that cannot be argued when provided facts.