Universities all over the United States are requiring students to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as campuses return to in-person instruction this Fall.
In an April 6th President’s Town Hall, New Mexico State University Executive Director of Health and Wellness Lori McKee stated that NMSU will not be requiring students and faculty to receive or show proof of vaccination.
“The vaccine is currently under emergency use authorization, which means that its only been approved for emergency use. At this point, there is no entity that can truly require you to be vaccinated, and NMSU is one of those. But we do strongly encourage it,” said McKee.
NMSU President Dr. John Floros states that NMSU is strongly encouraging students and faculty to receive the vaccine as the campus prepares for a conventional Fall semester.
“We have been very straightforward and very clear from the get-go that not only are we encouraging people to get vaccinated, but we would like everybody to get vaccinated. This is the way that we can come back in a safe way, particularly in our campus, and within our system and community,” said Floros.
In a poll conducted by the Office of the President, 93% of NMSU faculty and students claimed that they wanted to receive the vaccine, were strongly considering receiving the vaccine, or have already received it.
“Only 7% of you said “no, we are not going to take the vaccine.” I would very much like to make that 7% even smaller, maybe 5 or 2. We can’t force everyone to get vaccinated, and we know that not everyone can get vaccinated, but we are going to do our best to encourage and guide everyone to get vaccinated now that the vaccines are widely available,” said Floros.
NMSU’s Aggie Health and Wellness Center has been approved as a vaccine distribution site. McKee says this provides more resources for students and faculty to receive the vaccine.
“There are many opportunities, so if you want a vaccination, just sign up and you will get one. We will be advertising more clinics through the summer, as freshman come to campus. We hope to have opportunities where they can make appointments to get vaccinated, if they haven’t done so in their home communities,” said McKee.
NMSU Freshman Kayla Wilson says the COVID-19 vaccine should be required for students on campus.
“I do think students should be required to get the vaccine, because all of the students who aren’t vaccinated will still be at a really high risk of getting COVID-19. That would mean that the campus doesn’t have herd immunity, and COVID could be more widely spread if not everyone is vaccinated,” said Wilson
NMSU student Grace Gossett also says the vaccine should be required in the future.
“As kids, we had to get vaccinated in order to go to school. I think the same should apply for the COVID-19 shot. At some point in the future, it should be required because it is such a deadly virus and it spreads very quickly,” said Gossett.
Gossett says vaccinations will lead to a safer campus for students and faculty.
“It helps us to stay healthy, and it will help minimize the spread of the virus. I think that’s the most important thig, especially with the faculty and the students on campus. It helps us get back to normal,” said Gossett.
The COVID vaccine is available for everyone ages 16 and up.
Register at https://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org and find a vaccine site near you.