EDITORIAL: Require COVID-19 vaccine for spring semester


Editorial Board

We at The Daily Eastern News believe that the vaccine for COVID-19 should be required for students and faculty attending classes in-person this upcoming semester. 

The vaccine is not about the freedom to choose when it is about public safety. There are many other vaccines out there we are required to take in order to attend school through the proof of immunization records.

Eastern specifically requires proof of the DTaP vaccine, the MMR vaccine, and the Meningococcal vaccine. 

Avoiding these immunizations results in a $35 non-compliance charge and a hold placed on student university records, preventing students from registering for classes during the following terms. 

If there were no restrictions on immunizations, those diseases would be coming back at an alarming rate because people would not be protected. COVID-19 is the same and getting the vaccine does minimize the risk. 

With the continuous variants appearing of COVID-19, there needs to be a harsher crackdown on stopping the spread. 

Other schools, such as UIC, require the vaccine for students and faculty to be on campus. Exemptions are allowed to specific medical conditions with documentation or religious exemptions, but exemptions must be requested online. Those unvaccinated students who obtain an exemption are required to participate in on-campus COVID-19 saliva testing at least once weekly. 

They have a 96.4 percent vaccination rate overall, if it’s possible to track and have that much success at a larger school, we can certainly do it here with the smaller numbers if we just start taking it more seriously.