COVID-19 Vaccine Causes Tension Across Campus

With the progression of the COVID-19 vaccine, many individuals are eager to get their shots, while some are more wary of the vaccine – will the “Foutchie Ouchie” be added to the list of university requirements?

On campuses across the country, the COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be mandated. The New York Times reported that Cornell, Brown University and some state schools have decided to require the vaccine for on-campus life. 

Meningitis, measles and other vaccines are already required to live on campus, as outlined by the Tennessee Department of Health. Cleveland State University, however, has announced that the COVID-19 vaccination will be added to their list of required vaccinations for students living in the dorms. 

Lexi Sheeler, a junior computer engineering student here at Tech, shared that she was eager to receive the vaccine. 

“I got the vaccine, so I could worry less about not only getting infected, but also infecting others. I was more excited than nervous to get the vaccine because I knew it would make me safer to see my grandma,” Sheeler said.

Over 430 people received the COVID-19 vaccine on March 30,2021. Some students are hesitant to receive the vaccine. Photo by Laura Navarro

Many individuals exhibited similar enthusiasm on March 30, at the mass-vaccine event that took place in the parking lot of the Hooper Eblen Center. Over 430 people were vaccinated. 

Other students, however, are more wary of the vaccine. Austin Monroe, a senior computer science major, has asthma. He explained his decision to delay receiving the vaccine.  

“I have decided not to get the vaccine this year because I want to see the side effects it has on people that are receiving it currently. Even as someone who is considered at risk, I see more risk in the vaccine than I do the virus,” Moore said. 

“The primary reason I don’t have confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine is that the vaccine doesn’t actually prevent you from contracting Covid-19,” Emma Mitchell, a sophomore physics major, said.  

Mitchell’s statement is backed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). It has stated that the vaccine does not prevent the disease; it weakens the effects of the virus. 

She expressed  her distrust in the testing of the vaccine. 

“Additionally, since the vaccine was fast tracked, long term safety trials were not conducted … Taking the vaccine is not a risk I want to take with my health.”

Mitchell  is referring to the animal testing phase of the vaccine. It was not done separately, as is the case for most vaccines. According to AP News, a reliable news company based in New York City, animal testing and human testing were conducted simultaneously. 

Receiving the vaccine is ultimately up to you. Tennessee Tech has not announced if the COVID-19 vaccination will be required for attendance next fall. 

The vaccine is now available to everyone over the age of 16  in the form of two shots or one. To schedule a vaccination appointment, call Health Services at 372-3320.