MD university system requiring covid vaccinations

Aya Hesham

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Many WJ seniors will be attending the University of Maryland in the Fall and will be impacted heavily by the vaccine requirements.

The University System of Maryland Chancellor has announced that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the fall of 2021 in hopes of fully reopening.

As states are expanding vaccine eligibility and increase in vaccines, many universities over the country are pushing everyone within their organization to be fully vaccinated.

In Maryland, students, faculty, and staff must be fully vaccinated no later than August 2 to meet the requirement in hopes of fully reopening campuses in the fall.

“I’m glad Maryland colleges are requiring everyone to be vaccinated. I think that my peers and I both feel that requiring everyone to be vaccinated is a good step to get everything back to normal,” senior Emmie Maisel said.

Universities will comply with federal and state laws in granting exemptions for medical and religious reasons.

“I think that it’s really good that Maryland colleges are providing the vaccinations, but some people might not feel comfortable taking them for preference reasons or religious reasons so they may not want to take it. But for me personally, I think that it’s good! The more people who get vaccinated the better!” senior Rekab Hailemariam said.

The majority of WJ seniors concur with the idea of requiring vaccinations as it will make their peers feel safe and will help speed up the transition of fully reopening.

Governor Larry Hogan stated that he would encourage vaccination requirements at colleges and universities, but leave it up to individual campuses and the University System of Maryland to make the decision, according to The Washington Post.

Other Maryland universities, such as Loyola University Maryland and Goucher College, are also considering requiring COVID vaccinations. The University System of Maryland’s order will affect more than 216,000 people on 11 campuses, according to The Washington Post.

“I’m glad that Maryland colleges are requiring students to be vaccinated. Everyone being vaccinated makes me feel much safer and it will help everything begin to go back to normal. I think all of my peers would agree because we lost our entire senior year and all of us want to be able to start college normally and requiring everyone to be vaccinated would make that much more of a possibility,” senior Zoe Matsuzaki said.

Many colleges around the country are also requiring vaccinations in the fall such as Rutgers University in New Jersey, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of California System and the California State University System.

Many had decided in hopes of achieving herd immunity in large college communities such as Morgan State University which consists of 8,000 students and more than 2,200 faculty and staff and must receive a full vaccination by Aug. 1 before the start of the fall semester.

“The science is credible; vaccinations are the only way that we are going to achieve herd immunity, and everyone must be a part of that solution,” Morgan State President David K. Wilson said in a news release.

After a year of virtual schooling, many believe the vaccine mandates are critical in ensuring a safe and full reopening of both high schools and universities around the country.