CSUSM should require students returning to campus in the fall to be vaccinated

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Universities are considering mandating a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for the fall semester.

Richard Ho, Staff Writer

Since the COVID-19 vaccine has become gradually available in California, universities, including CSUSM, are planning to open in-person instruction for the new academic year. 

However, there are questions about the university’s planning of in-person transition after an academic year of virtual instruction, such as if schools will require students to be vaccinated before returning to campus. 

The university should mandate a vaccine requirement for students returning to campus for in-person instruction to reduce the probability of COVID-19 outbreaks on campus. Most students want an normal in-person college experience like they had in the pre-pandemic era, making vaccine requirements necessary to keep everyone safe. 

Rutgers became the first university to require students returning to campus to be vaccinated. But for universities that decide to require vaccines, there may be legal challenges in the future because the vaccine has only been emergency approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  

Those who oppose universities mandating COVID-19 vaccines may claim that because of the vaccines’ emergency approval, they are not safe and thus should not be required for students.  

COVID-19 vaccines are only studied for large clinical trials prior to the FDA’s emergency’s approval and it is difficult to have evidence about the vaccine being effective against the newest strain of the virus. 

Researchers estimated the vaccines may last a minimum of three months. Since there is a limit of data for current vaccines recently, some individuals are wary about the legitimacy of the emergency approved vaccines’ length of immunity against the COVID-19 disease.

Since there are questions about universities’ vaccine mandate requirements for students to return to campus next fall, universities have the right to impose mandates for students obtaining their vaccine and show vaccination proof prior to returning to in-person instruction. 

Furthermore, universities’ have high chances of winning the legal battle of upholding their COVID-19 vaccine requirement due to it being necessary for protecting the public health of the community.

Even though there were early concerns about an emergency approved vaccine against the COVID-19 virus, the FDA made their decision because time is the enemy for the vaccines against COVID-19 virus’s new mutant strains. Early studies of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed promising results against various mutant strains of virus. 

Vaccinated students can reduce the chances of  in-campus outbreaks in the winter season of the fall semester. 

CSUSM needs to mandate a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students to enjoy college experience while reducing the likelihood of outbreaks on campus next fall. 

Richard Ho is a staff writer for The Cougar Chronicle. He is currently a junior computer science major and mathematics minor. Richard is considering applying to graduate school with the emphasis of artificial intelligence next year.  During his free time, he enjoys running outside early in the morning and being with his family.

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos