By DONNA KING
Some state universities have announced that they will require the COVID vaccine for students returning to campus. Public universities in the UNC system do not require, but encourage, the vaccine. Some private schools, including Duke and Wake Forest, require it.
Wake Forest sent a warning letter to students last week.
“As previously reported, Wake Forest University requires all students enrolled in the fall 2021 semester to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” the letter reads. âFor those of you who have not yet provided the required documents, on August 1, the University will begin the process of removing registered courses and allocated accommodations. “
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently approved under an Emergency Use Clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration.
COVID infection is statistically milder in young people, such as college students, than in the elderly. At the height of the spread last year, the Centers for Disease Control released an analysis of data that found that while teens and young adults were infected with COVID-19, the chances of serious complications were slim.
“Of the children, adolescents and young adults for whom data are available for these results, 30,229 (2.5%) were hospitalized, 1,973 (0.8%) required hospitalization in intensive care, and 654 (
The UNC system says it will not require a vaccine for returning students, saying there is no clear legal authority for the university system to do so and relying on the authority of the Public Health Commission.
“Other than an amendment to existing law, the Commission is the only entity clearly authorized by state law to make compulsory vaccination of students in that state,” read a note to chancellors of the state. ‘UNC by UNC President Peter Hans. “The University respects the role of the Commission as a historical and modern expert in determining which vaccinations to require.”
The Public Health Commission is the group authorized by the General Assembly to make rules to protect public health. Of its 13 members, nine are appointed by the governor and four are elected by the North Carolina Medical Society. More recently, the commission extended the requirement that healthcare providers and laboratories report all COVID-19 diagnostic tests, positive and negative, to the state.
The North Carolina Medical Society did not advocate for a vaccination mandate but encouraged vaccination.
“The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective and is largely responsible for the return to normalcy that we have seen so far this summer,” said company president Dr Philip Brown in A press release. âIt is crucial that anyone aged 12 and over who has not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 be vaccinated so that they can resume their learning and socializing activities in a safe environment. virus and beneficial for their intellectual and social development. “
Now, as students begin to cut back on internships and summer jobs, the personal decision to get the shot may depend on where students attend college. In Virginia, public universities like Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia have mandated him to return students unless they have a religious or medical waiver. UVA students who are not vaccinated are not even allowed on campus after July 1. However, UVA makes vaccination optional for employees.
In North Carolina, the UNC system is unlikely to impose the vaccine on returning students unless the Public Health Commission takes action, which is also unlikely while the COVID vaccine is still on clearance from emergency use of the FDA. If the FDA grants full approval to vaccines, requiring broader, longer-term testing, the policy on warrants may change.