Student Response To Vaccination Deadline At Ohio University
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Student Response To Vaccination Deadline At Ohio University

Get vaccinated, Bobcats!

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Student Response To Vaccination Deadline At Ohio University
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

On August 31, Ohio University's president Hugh Sherman announced that Ohio U students and faculty, outside of those who qualify for an exemption, would be required to be fully immunized against COVID-19 by November 15, 2021. This decision took place just weeks into the fall semester and months after the announcement that all students and faculty would be required to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. With the November 15 deadline having passed, one may wonder what the students have to say about the vaccination requirement.

"I was pretty happy they were (requiring the vaccine) honestly," stated Andy Williams, a sophomore at Ohio University. "I think it's really important for everyone to get vaccinated and it's nice that (Ohio University) is stepping in to enforce that."

A majority of students seemed to share in Williams' view of the vaccine, and some went on to list some benefits of having the COVID-19 vaccine required on-campus.

"(The vaccination requirement) makes me feel safer and it probably makes a lot of other people feel safer who are going to this school," freshman Ren Pollitt shared her thoughts on the benefits of the vaccine requirement.

"I think you have to trust the science here," added freshman Kaden Papadatos. "I haven't seen anything to the contrary that's credible, so I just have to stick with the science."

It is clear that there are a great many benefits to requiring the COVID-19 vaccine at Ohio University, the most notable being that cases will hopefully start to decrease. But that does not mean there are not some disadvantages to the vaccine requirement.

"(The vaccine requirement) doesn't give people a choice," stated Ben Luers, a freshman, "And I am a big proponent of letting people have a choice about what they do, so that is one of the biggest cons."

"There's a lot of people who, ethically, don't want to get the vaccine or, for whatever beliefs they have, will not get the vaccine," Williams added.

There are definitely some possible disadvantages to the vaccine requirement, but it is important to note that it is possible to request an exemption from receiving the vaccine due to medical reasons or ethical, moral, or religious beliefs. But another important question is, did Ohio University provide enough opportunities for students and faculty to get vaccinated before the deadline?

"Yes, I think so," Pollitt said, responding to that very question. "They offered free vaccines, they had walk-in vaccinations, you could make appointments, and there's a CVS not far from campus."

Luers, who was among those who received his immunization after the vaccination requirement was announced, also went on the record to say that Ohio University provided enough time and opportunities to get vaccinated with a resounding "Yes. Yeah. Very much so."

Overall, the reaction to the announcement of the COVID-19 and the impending vaccination deadline has seemed to be overwhelmingly positive. And when asked what they want to see after the deadline, nearly all students had the same answer.

"The biggest hope is probably masks slowly start to become less relevant," Papadatos stated.

Williams seemed to agree, stating, "Mask mandate: get rid of it. I've been vaccinated for eight months now and I still have to wear a mask. It's frustrating, but I know we have to do it."

November 15 has long passed, so if you haven't received all necessary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or gotten an exemption, vaccines are available in multiple locations on campus, most notably CVS. Those who do not receive the vaccine or an exemption will not be able to participate in any spring semester in-person activities. Get vaxxed, Bobcats!

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