Opinion: Suffolk University should vaccinate its students

According to CNBC, “90% of adults and college students are going to be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as early as April 19,” said President Joe Biden. However, some universities, such as Suffolk University, may not be directly providing their students with the vaccine. 

In order to return to “normal” campus life, all students should be required by their university to receive the vaccine. At the same time, colleges risk the safety of their communities by not guaranteeing access to the vaccine. Distributing the vaccine through Suffolk would ensure that every student has the opportunity. 

Colleges across the country are going to be receiving a controlled number of shipments in waves while vaccines are rolling out. Boston University (BU) has received 500 doses so far and is starting its process of vaccinating all students, staff and faculty. Along with BU, other schools in Boston have been distributing vaccines to their communities, such as Northeastern, Tufts, UMass and Harvard. It would be smart for Suffolk to join them. 

It would not be fair for Suffolk to require the vaccinations of students without providing them an accessible and easy way to do so. 

Once college students are approved for eligibility by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  the university should seriously consider conducting a similar program to its past flu shot distribution for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

This potential program could help ensure Suffolk’s plans to return to operating at full capacity and hold most classes on campus in the fall. 

There is no doubt that students receiving the vaccine will not end the spread of COVID-19. However, it should still be a requirement for all college students and adults within the workplace. 

Many students are struggling with the question of where and how to get the vaccine. 

If students are unsure of this, they could end up discouraged and simply decide not to get vaccinated at all, putting the university’s population at greater risk. If students wait too long, they could be stuck waiting until after the fall to receive their shots.  

College students are among one of the groups that could have the greatest impact on positive case numbers. They can be reckless and often do not understand or respect the guidelines put in place to stop the spread of the virus. If they are vaccinated, there will be less risk to themselves and the community. 

In response to the confusion regarding the vaccination process and the potential hazard of the immaturity of college students, it is Suffolk’s responsibility to provide guidance and accessibility to protect its community.