American colleges and universities hope to return to pre-COVID life in the fall. Some schools encourage students to get the vaccine, but others wonder if they should or could legally require it.
Colleges and universities planning to return to personal tutoring have launched campaigns to get students vaccinated before the summer.
Universities including Rutgers, Brown, Cornell and Northeastern recently told students they need to be vaccinated before returning to classes in the fall. They hope to reach out crew immunity among the student population. They believe it would allow them to lift space restrictions.
“It simply came to our notice then ambiguity about whether individuals should be vaccinated, ”Kenneth Henderson said. He is the principal of Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
He added that making sure students are vaccinated will tell the surrounding town or city that “we take all appropriate measures. ”
Northeastern and other colleges that require shots believe they have a legal right to demand that students be vaccinated. It is not uncommon for colleges to require students to be vaccinated against other diseases. Last year, a court ruled in favor of the University of California.
Leave the decision to students
However, some colleges believe that they cannot legally require vaccinations and leave the decisions to students.
Officials at Virginia Tech University say they cannot legally claim the vaccine because it has not been fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has only approved some vaccines for emergency use in the United States
Legal experts say the approval of COVID-1
Harvard Law Professor Glenn Cohen teaches health law and bioethics. He argued that there is no legal reason why colleges would not be allowed to require COVID-19 vaccinations. It makes no difference that the shots have not received full approval, he said.
The problem is that there is no federal law or court decision that helps colleges and universities decide how to proceed.
Other legal issues
The biggest problems could come in states that have already banned or plan to ban vaccine needs, Cohen said.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this month banned all businesses from requiring anyone to show proof of vaccination. The order raises issues for Florida’s Nova Southeastern University. It plans to require students, teachers and professors to be vaccinated. The college president said he would “respect our state’s laws and all federal directives.”
Texas also has a ban on vaccine requirements.
And then there are other problems for schools that require the vaccine. Federal law states that colleges must work with any student who refuses a vaccine for medical or religious reasons. There is also no widely accepted evidence for vaccination papers.
In Northeastern, officials are still deciding whether students will be asked to show some sort of vaccine journal or just be asked if they have been vaccinated.
“We expect students to be honest,” Henderson said.
American colleges are also struggling with what to expect from international students. Some may not have access to vaccines in their home countries. And some may not have access to vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States
Several colleges say they plan to make shots available to international students when they arrive.
Northeastern student Tyler Lee said he believes it is necessary to require vaccinations because it will help stop the virus from spreading and protect society. Students agree with the decision, he said.
“It’s Northeastern’s decision,” Tyler Lee said. “If I did not like it, I would too transfer. And that’s what most students feel, ”he added.
I’m Susan Shand.
The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it to learn English. Hai Do was the editor.
Words in this story
crew immunity – n. Cattle immunity is a form of protection against infectious disease when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections, which reduces the likelihood of infection in persons lacking immunity.
ambiguity – n. something that does not have a single clear meaning
appropriate – adj. right or suitable for any purpose or situation
bioethics – n. the study of the ethical issues that come from advances in biology and medicine.
transfer – v. move to another school
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