Vaccine should be required for fall semester

Emma Smith

Should UW schools require COVID-19 vaccinations for students returning for the fall 2021 semester?

I say yes.

Although there is lots of controversy surrounding the COVID-19 vaccination, UW students should be required to receive it before returning to campus for the fall 2021 semester because the risk of COVID spreading readily across campus will drop significantly if every student is fully vaccinated.

One of the looming questions surrounding the COVID-19 vaccination is whether or not it is efficient in preventing COVID-19 infection.

Yale Medicine’s website states that the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective and the Moderna is 94.1% effective at reducing the disease in people not ever infected with COVID-19.

Johnson & Johnson is 84% effective at protecting against severe COVID-19 infection in the US.

Since these are proven effective, college campuses should push them to build toward the ultimate goal: herd immunity.

Herd immunity occurs when most in a community become immune to a disease, making it harder to spread from person to person.

Herd immunity is usually achieved either by mass infection or mass vaccination.

Therefore, getting the vaccination is the easy way to help our community achieve herd immunity compared to getting infected myself or watching friends and peers suffer through the disease in order to create herd immunity.

This is why the decision to require vaccinations is best. Offering incentives, like exemption from weekly testing, is not enough to push hesitant students.

Therefore, if college faculty require the vaccination to return to campus, students will be inclined to go out and get vaccinated.

The decision lands in the hands of UW System faculty as to how soon they want their campuses to open to normal operations and in the hands of students in regards to getting back their full college experience.