University students may be hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine
Students say they are hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, despite the university's plans to have them available on campus.
Students say they are hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, despite the university’s plans to have them available on campus.
With students waiting in anticipation to see if they will have an ordinary spring semester, it remains uncertain whether the campus reopening will be safe or not.
“The safety of the students and staff is our first priority,” Dr. Rick Hong, the state medical director for the Delaware Division of Public Health, said in an email. “It is not possible to determine exactly when schools will fully re-open. The risk for COVID-19 spread at schools is considered minimal-to-moderate at the moment.”
Hong added that they are currently planning “Scenario two,” in which schools may use a hybrid model of remote learning and in-person learning options with precautions in place.
Currently, the university plans to have the COVID-19 vaccine available on campus once it receives FDA approval; however, getting the vaccine is not as simple as some may think.
According to Director of Student Health Services, Timothy Dowling, the university has to coordinate with the state Department of Health and the federal government to make sure they receive enough supplies to set up vaccine clinics and ensure everyone has safe access to it.
Since it is not guaranteed that everyone receives a vaccine right away, this would mean setting up a potential tier program that would determine who gets the vaccine first.
“That would depend on availability and restrictions,” Dowling said in an email to The Review. “The first tier is health care workers and first responders, second tier is the vulnerable populations based on age and underlying health conditions and then the third tier is everyone else.”
There is still a ways to go before the university can offer COVID-19 vaccines to students. However, some say the rushed process of creating the vaccine unsettles them.
“I would consider it, but I would have to research heavily before committing to the particular vaccine,” Sophia Crames, a senior biological sciences major, said. “A lot of the science has been rushed, and that does scare me.”
Other students like Matt Baquero agree that research is necessary prior to getting the vaccine.
“I would get a vaccine from [the university] but only if I couldn’t get one at home or some place like Christiana Care,” Baquero said. “I’d do some research into it and the company making it before getting the vaccine.”
While many students remain uncertain and worried about the effects of the vaccine, others such as Hailey Santana, a senior environmental science major, said that she would get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as the university offered it.
“Because of the intense screening process that vaccinations must go through before you can receive it, I would fully trust a product put out by a reputable pharmaceutical company,” Santana said. “I’d be a little hesitant to receive one, but ultimately, I would because I believe in science; and I know that this virus cannot be stopped if the people aren’t taking the right steps to protect themselves and others.”