Colleges take a shot at mandating vaccine

How colleges, students are handling the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines


Daisy Calderon / Talon

Anonymous vaccine card on top of a pile of acceptance letters from colleges that will require the COVID-19 vaccine for the fall of 2021

As COVID-19 vaccine distribution continues to rise, colleges and universities are taking steps to ensure safety on campuses for the 2021-2022 school year. Many schools inside and outside of California are requiring students to be vaccinated, while others are strongly suggesting it.

According to University Business, the California State University system, along with the University of California system are included in the schools requiring the vaccine within California with FDA approval. Other schools requiring the vaccine in the U.S. can be found here.

Within Ventura County, community colleges are encouraging students to get vaccinated however it is not required.

“COVID-19 vaccination is highly recommended for all students and staff at all Ventura County Community College District locations: Moorpark, Oxnard, [as well as at] Ventura College: East Campus in Santa Paula and the District Office in Camarillo,” Ventura County Community College Chancellor Dr. Greg Gillespie wrote to the Talon.

Vaccine mandates are commonplace within the university and college system, however, the speed with which the COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed is unprecedented

“The district and colleges are widely communicating information to students and employees recommending COVID-19 vaccination and providing information on how to obtain a vaccination,” Gillespie wrote. “The main difference [from other vaccines] is the level of communication and emphasized importance in obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.”

Communication and quick action is not limited to the Ventura County area; all across the country, an increasing number of schools are adding vaccination requirements or suggestions to their pre registration information.

“The only pattern I’ve seen is that more and more schools are being added to the list, requiring vaccines, on a daily basis. You will probably see more private schools requiring vaccination before public schools, but I don’t think the public schools are far behind,” College and Career technician Julie Prince said.

The speed at which the vaccine has been produced has created many different views on vaccination requirements. 

“I think why there is probably controversy is that it was produced quickly,” Prince said. “So if I’m looking at both sides, that is probably why some people are hesitant [about] wanting to have their children have it.”

The ability to go out and meet new people without the worry of contracting COVID-19 may outweigh the apprehension towards the vaccine, especially for rising college freshmen, according to some students. The vaccine can help to ensure some degree of safety as these students begin living in a new environment.

“As a student who will hopefully be on campus in the fall, I would feel more comfortable if college campuses require students to be vaccinated,” senior and Associated Student Body President Anna Stephens said. “Overall, I think in our school, there has been a positive response to getting the vaccine, especially from seniors who will be going away in the fall.”

As the country moves forward with the vaccines, the seniors are beginning to move on from high school.

“I’m excited to see everybody getting their vaccines, because I think it’s a good sign that, even though the pandemic isn’t over, we are starting to return to some sense of normalcy. I’m excited that it will allow us seniors to have a somewhat normal start to college or whatever we are doing after graduation,” Stephens said.