More colleges mandate COVID-19 vaccine with strict enforcement measures

(Stephen Goin)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The list of U.S. colleges mandating the COVID-19 vaccine continues to grow, after the FDA granted full approval to Pfizer’s two-dose coronavirus shot this week. 

As of Friday, more than 800 colleges have enacted COVID-19 vaccine mandates according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Ohio State University announced its COVID-19 requirement this past Tuesday. Students, staff and faculty will be required to receive at least one dose of a vaccine by Oct. 1.

Senior Mallory Price already has been vaccinated; she told Fox News the mandate means she’ll get to enjoy her final year.

“I think it is a very good idea, the reason we’re allowed to be in person is because of the vaccine,” she said.

Senior Mallory Price has already been vaccinated; she told Fox News the mandate means she’ll get to enjoy her final year without worry about COVID-19.
(Stephen Goin)

OSU spokesperson Ben Johnson told Fox News nearly 73% of OSU students, faculty and staff were vaccinated as of the first week of classes.

“We’re so excited for a more normal year, but it won’t be completely normal. Of course, we’re still attempting to navigate the pandemic,” Johnson said. “We continue to see case numbers rising in Ohio largely due to the delta variant, so we felt this was the right thing to do.”

Despite high levels of early compliance, some students like freshman Colton Lawrence have have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Lawrence told Fox News he was on the fence about but ultimately decided to get vaccinated because of the school mandate. 

“I know some people are kind of bothered because it’s being pushed upon us. I don’t know, i was kind of in-between,” he said. “One big reason I’m getting it is because I want that regular campus experience.”

The Ohio State University   has seen 73% of students, faculty and staff received the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of its ‘one-dose’ Oct. 1 deadline.
(Stephen Goin)

In a statement, The Ohio State College Republicans said they “firmly” opposed OSU’s mandate on the principal of choice. 

“We fully support and encourage individuals to get the vaccination, however, we take issue with overarching mandates” the statement read.

Those opposed to college vaccine mandates have filed lawsuits in several states including Indiana, Massachusetts and California. The Supreme Court has already rejected one such case from students at Indiana University. 

While most schools will offer limited vaccination exemptions on similar grounds, enforcement measures have varied greatly from institution to institution.

At OSU, students who don’t get the vaccine won’t be aloud on campus for class or social activities. In Connecticut, Quinnipiac University will take away Wi-Fi and charge students a fine. The University of Virginia already has disenrolled nearly 250 students who did not get vaccinated.

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