Opinion: Meredith College's Expected Vaccine Requirement
In light of the pandemic, students have faced a variety of changes in their day-to-day lives. This past year has been extremely different for the students of Meredith College. We have followed the Community Standards to keep ourselves, our peers and our faculty safe.
With the fall semester may come another requirement for Meredith students concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 19, Meredith College’s Executive Leadership Team released a new statement concerning COVID-19. The email read, “We fully expect to require the COVID-19 vaccine of students, faculty and staff this fall and encourage you to get vaccinated as soon as possible.” If a student is not vaccinated, they will “be required to have a current PCR test.” The Executive Leadership Team expects to have a submission portal accessible within a few weeks.
Meredith has already loosened mask restrictions, allowing those on campus to forego a mask outside as long as social distancing is possible. It is suggested that people still carry a mask with them outdoors in case a situation arises in which they need it.
In some ways, this policy change is frightening, especially after cautiously wearing masks for over a year. Now that restrictions are being lessened, one can only wonder if it may cause a new outbreak. The CDC has stated that those who have been vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks. Despite these fears, there will come a time when wearing masks will be a distant memory. With Meredith likely to soon require proof of aCOVID-19 vaccination, masks on campus may be a thing of the past sooner than we are expecting.
Meredith’s COVID-19 protocols have been in place for months in an attempt to keep us safe, and the requirements for the fall aim to do the same thing. The only way to ensure we will one day be free from both the virus and the restrictions that come with it is to take initiative and become vaccinated against it. The more people who choose to get vaccinated, the sooner life will return to normal. Student vaccinations will also ensure that life at Meredith College can return to our usual traditions and events, leaving Zoom fatigue behind us.
To find information about vaccination sites near you, visit the CDC website or vaccines.gov.
By Maggie Barnhill, Staff Writer