Colleges and universities across the country are requiring students to receive updated COVID-19 booster shots, but some are calling the requirement “out of line” and unnecessary.
Students at Yale University, the University of Notre Dame, Tufts University, Harvard University and Fordham College are being required to receive the updated bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine, with some participating as punishment for not getting a booster shot.
Fordham University in New York City required students to be fully up-to-date on vaccinations and an “updated bivalent booster” by November 1, 2022.
Faculty, students, and staff at Tufts University are required to receive a bivalent COVID-19 booster by January 23, 2023.
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“Currently, only 50 percent of our university population has received a bivalent booster. The closer we get to 100 percent, the healthier our community will be,” Tufts University said in a Nov. 30 announcement.
Yale University is requiring students to receive the “updated, bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster by the start of the spring semester,” and faculty and staff are “strongly encouraged” to receive the updated vaccine.
A spokeswoman for Yale University said, “We require students to obtain bivalent boosters because their circumstances are somewhat different from those of faculty and staff, particularly in housing and participation in large gatherings.” A spokeswoman said students “may be exempt from the enhancement requirement for medical or religious reasons.”
Other colleges, such as Notre Dame, require a bivalent booster as a “requirement” to enroll in classes for the 2023-2024 academic year. According to the university’s website, distance learning students must also receive an amplifier.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster “combines a component of the original virus strain to provide broad protection against COVID-19, and to provide better protection against omicron-derived COVID-19 contains the component of the omiron option. option.”
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Many schools across the country were required to participate when the COVID-19 vaccine was first released, and a smaller number of colleges are now requiring an updated booster.
Michael Bellia, vice president of the Fordham College Republicans, said the new requirement is outside the norm and should not be imposed.
“I don’t think it compares to other schools,” Bellia said. “There is clearly no longer a public policy or mandate on this issue.”
According to Bellia, the demand for an additional amplifier was significantly pushed back by the student body at Fordham.
Dr. Mark Siegel, a Fox News medical analyst and professor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center, said that while colleges have the right to mandate the booster vaccine, he opposes such a move.
“I don’t want the state governments to get involved, or the federal government, as you know, I don’t believe in any of those government mandates. Yeah, but a private university might have the right to do that,” Siegel said. said. “I’m not in favor of forcing it. I don’t think it’s a legal issue. … I don’t like mandates at all. I’ve never liked them.”
While Siegel said he’s not in favor of requiring schools to use boosters, he still thinks it should be “strongly” recommended.
“Any youngster or teenager who hasn’t had a vaccine or COVID within the last six months. I strongly recommend it,” Siegel said.