The College Vaccination Conundrum: Are Vaccine Mandates Ethical on College Campuses?

        Is it a deadly virus or a deadly vaccine? While many agree with our healthcare professionals that COVID-19 is the real danger, there are some who would disagree and question the quality of the vaccine. Now, private colleges have to make an important decision: whether or not to require students to be vaccinated at the threat of expulsion or loss of potential scholarships. This is, unsurprisingly, a controversial topic. Many in our population distrust the science behind the vaccines and would rather avoid them at all costs, which would lead to outrage if vaccines were mandated at private colleges.

        Others would disagree, believing wholeheartedly in the quality of the vaccines and preferring they be mandated for the safety of themselves and their family members. The only exception to this mandate could be a genuine medical reason that would have to be proven by a doctor’s note. If someone could not provide a COVID-19 vaccination card or a note from a doctor, they would not be admitted to the college and would lose any potential scholarships. This would be a good strategy to keep students and staff members safe from COVID-19; however, it could potentially stagger enrollment for some smaller private colleges. If people do not trust the vaccines, they may see this rule and decide not to go at all. Despite this, most colleges, especially those universities that see tens of thousands of applications, should be able to create a rule about vaccinations that fits best with their ideology without a destructive loss of enrollment. Additionally, private colleges should be allowed to require vaccinations over threat of expulsion or loss of potential scholarships, as long as they allow for actual medical exceptions.

        As colleges and universities grapple with these opposing views, an ever-growing number of schools are deciding that vaccine mandates are a necessary measure to ensure student and faculty health and safety. The safety of students and staff members is more important than catering to fears of the vaccine, and these mandates should be upheld.