College considers requiring vaccinations for students

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Colleges are preparing their prevention plans for the fall, which could include COVID-19 vaccine requirements for students before they return to campus.

However, that could raise issues with parents and the legal system.

Winthrop University is considering a vaccine or negative test before its students return to campus. Leaders at the college said their plan is to go back to full operations in the fall.

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Freshman Mackenzie McGaha said she has not made up her mind to get vaccinated.

“It’s not even that I have negative feelings about it by any means, just more there’s so much unknown,” McGaha said. “I have other health issues. You’ve just got to consider everything with it.”

JSCU, Davidson and UNC Charlotte strongly recommend getting the vaccine.

“We did a survey here that showed about 60% of the responses from our community said they would get it as soon as they could,” said John Bogdan, UNCC associate vice chancellor for safety and security.

Rutgers is making it a requirement for students to get the vaccine, with some exceptions, before the fall semester.

Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, supports Rutgers’ decision.

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“I think it’s incumbent upon all institutions of higher education to make sure that when a student is in a classroom, that student doesn’t need to worry about whether the person sitting next to them has COVID-19, or is a carrier, and has been vaccinated,” Pasquerella said.

Since the FDA approved vaccinations for emergency use, it is voluntary, and people should have the option to deny it.