NOTICE: Covid-19 vaccine mandates, education will keep DePaul community safe
DePaul’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate ensures that all students will be safe from infection to themselves and others with both the virus and new strains. As a freshman, I wouldn’t have considered returning to campus in the fall if DePaul hadn’t made the vaccine mandatory. There is too much risk of exposure and infection if a majority of the campus is not vaccinated.
the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health have shown that all three vaccines are very effective in protecting against the virus. Moderna is 94.1 percent effective, Pfzier being 95 percent effective and Johnson & Johnson is 66.3% effective, According to the CDC. The vaccine is too good an opportunity to pass up, especially when everyone over 16 is eligible to receive one in Illinois.
There is nothing more that I want to get back to normal. DePaul made the wise choice realizing that we have to do it safely.
“I feel a lot safer coming to campus knowing that everyone will be vaccinated,” said Lauren Hunt, new DePaul recruit. “I think DePaul made a great choice in making it mandatory.”
Students are eager to do whatever it takes to come back after losing a year of school, especially when a majority of college and high school freshmen have never experienced campus life. before. But students like Student Government Association (SGA) Senator for Freshmen Alik Schier are realizing that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the low risk of fatal side effects.
“I really want to go to campus and I want to have a somewhat normal college experience, ”he said. “It’s really important, but it has to be safe. The biggest step is making sure everyone gets vaccinated and doing everything in their power to prevent the spread of the spread of Covid-19. ”
However, DePaul needs to take it one step further and realize with such a controversial decision that there has yet to be education about vaccines.
We cannot take people who are reluctant to receive the vaccine at face value as being automatically anti-vaccine. DePaul must realize that students are going to be more hesitant and resistant if their real questions are dismissed or criticized. We need to build confidence in the vaccine.
Fortunately, Robbie Merkel, executive vice president of diversity and equity at SGA, knew this and started a campaign to improve understanding and confidence in the immunization process. SGA’s vaccination campaign included a town hall with the Office of Health and Wellness Promotion and the Student Affairs Division where students could get real-time responses from professionals on Covid-19 and the vaccine.
“One of the reasons I chose to launch this campaign is because I saw the need for easy access to educational materials and personal stories of people who have already taken the vaccine,” said Merkel.
We need to build confidence in the vaccine, otherwise students will resent DePaul’s decision.
Students will feel more secure if they personally know someone who advocates for the vaccine. Personal connection will fuel more trust rather than seeing high profile celebrities or public figures telling us it’s safe.
“I think there is a lot of hesitation around vaccines and a lot of misinformation about the vaccine,” Schier said. “I think it’s really important for us as a leading student organization to have someone you know [get the vaccine]. “
We must also recognize that for various reasons, medical or religious, not everyone will get the vaccine. However, that doesn’t mean they should be overlooked.
“People get vaccinated to protect themselves but to protect their grandparents, parents, sisters and brothers, their siblings,” Merkel said.
When we get vaccinated, we don’t just do it for ourselves, but also for others. I got mine because I don’t want to infect my family members who are under the age of 16. I want to be able to interact with older family members who are more at risk.
So when people talk about violating their personal freedoms, I can’t help but wonder why they don’t consider the safety of others.ers too. Refusing not to receive the Covid-19 vaccine based on the personal freedoms argument only shows that some people think their lives and their choices are the only ones that matter – and their choices have no consequences.
“Public health is entirely more important than personal freedom,” Hunt said. “As the death toll slows, people are still dying and 576,000 people have already died in the United States alone. “
There will be medical and religious students in the fall, they deserve our protection.
“I think a lot of people think it’s all about individual freedom rather than collective freedom,” Schier said.
I don’t think we can overlook the fact that those claiming personal freedom also prolonged the pandemic in the United States by refusing to wear masks, social distancing, and following guidelines. If you have enough, get vaccinated so we don’t have to. We cannot continue to complain about the pandemic if we do not take the necessary steps to prevent it as well.
“It expands freedom because later cities like Chicago and other places, like concerts, will require people to be vaccinated,” Merkel said. “So really, it expands your freedom to be able to help bring things back to normal, our daily lives back to normal, without worrying about getting infected with Covid-19.”
Several vaccines, such as measles and tetanus, have always been required to participate in DePaul as well. Students who are very uncomfortable with this tenure may choose to stay away or not attend DePaul at all. DePaul, as a private institution, is within its rights to mandate vaccines.
I am delighted to finally be on campus and to have a true university experience. As I meet new people, go to class and explore Chicago, I know it will be worth getting the vaccine. However, I hope DePaul will continue to promote education on Covid-19 and vaccines throughout the summer before the fall term.
DePaul has to keep doing what needs to be done.