OPINION: COVID-19 vaccines on campus

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Bella Watson
OPINION EDITOR

Students are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Unsplash

The University of Nebraska Omaha announced that they will be hosting Coronavirus vaccination stations on campus. The university partnered with the Douglas County Health Department to bring mobile vaccine clinics, which are open to everyone, with the hopes that they will encourage more students to get vaccinated. The mobile clinics will be on campus from Aug. 19 through Aug. 25.

UNO has already announced that mask mandates will be enforced in certain classrooms, such as science labs or lecture halls, where social distancing is more difficult. The university has also left it at the discretion of professors to enforce masks within their classrooms.

Despite efforts to keep the campus as safe as possible, the delta variant and other possible variants leave the future of our semester undetermined. The university is not requiring vaccines in order to attend classes, and with mutations of the virus spreading rapidly, it is only a matter of time before it once again rampages through our campus.

It is common for a school to require a vaccine to attend classes. For example, most on-campus housing facilities demand that students receive a multitude of vaccinations before they can move in, including measles, mumps, HPV and meningitis. Yet for some reason, the COVID-19 vaccine has become a polarizing political topic, and some argue that requiring this would be an infringement of their rights. However, requiring a vaccination to be on campus is meant to protect everyone, and acts to keep students healthy.

It should not be a debate that the coronavirus vaccination should be required to attend classes this fall. Cases are again beginning to spike, and 95 percent of people diagnosed are unvaccinated, according to Healthline News. It is baffling how a pandemic turned into a political battle, or how so many Americans refuse to get vaccinated despite having the rest of their vaccinations.

The thought of encouraging students to get vaccinated by providing them with the resources necessary to do so is a good plan on paper, but without a mandate, there is still a large population that is going to stay unvaccinated. We are all eager for life to return to normal, but as more people refuse to take this seriously, the longer the pandemic is going to last.

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