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Lawmakers, Experts Decry Ongoing COVID Mandates at Colleges

On Tuesday, reports surfaced that 48 colleges across the country continue to require prospective students to receive the COVID-19 shot for admission, almost a year after the pandemic was declared over by Congress. Lawmakers and policy experts are decrying the ongoing mandates as discriminatory, unnecessary, overly burdensome, and potentially dangerous.

The list of colleges requiring the shot, which is maintained by the No College Mandates organization, includes mostly private colleges, with a few prominent exceptions such as Johns Hopkins University.

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent revision of its COVID-19 guidelines that suggests staying at home for 24 hours following a fever (which had previously been five days), Harvard University dropped its COVID-19 shot requirement in early March, with a number of other smaller colleges likewise dropping their mandate in recent weeks.

The College Fix has noted that almost 100 colleges had a COVID-19 shot requirement as of last summer, with the number continually dropping since then.

Still, four dozen schools continue to maintain a requirement, which has led one congressman to publicly call for an end to all shot mandates nationwide.

“I am on the committee of jurisdiction, so we do have oversight responsibilities given the vast amount of funding that goes into higher education,” Rep. Kevin Kiley, R-Calif., told The Epoch Times on Tuesday. “I think there could be avenues we could pursue from a legislative perspective, including through funding, to see that we don’t have this kind of unscientific flaunting that lacks any hint of rational thought.”

He went on to characterize COVID-19 shot requirements as “discrimination” that is “unfair, unjust, and unnecessary.”

New Jersey state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, a Republican, was more explicit in his denunciation of shot mandates, calling for Rutgers University to be stripped of its state funding.

“It is difficult to put into words just how absurd and irrational the vaccination policy is at Rutgers University,” O’Scanlon stated. “The 2024-2025 semester is just around the corner and the administrators at Rutgers still insist that all students, faculty, and staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine—a policy that has no basis in science whatsoever. In fact, the entire policy is anti-science.”

Studies have shown that the COVID-19 shot does not prevent infection or transmission, and the CDC itself admits that “vaccinated people sometimes get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Studies have also shown that natural immunity through previous infection is “equivalent” to the shot in preventing future infection. One study even found that “the incidence of COVID infection was higher in vaccine recipients … than in individuals previously infected.”

In addition, studies of the side effects of the COVID-19 shot continue to raise concerns. A study published in February looked at 99 million vaccinated individuals from around the globe, which “confirmed pre-established safety signals for myocarditis, pericarditis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. Other potential safety signals that require further investigation were identified.”

In a recent op-ed, Fordham University professor Nicholas Tampio pointed out that shot mandates are particularly concerning for students entering college, since “the age of peak risk for myocarditis is young adults aged 16-17 years.”

As noted by The Epoch Times, according to the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System database, “COVID-19 shots have been named the primary suspect in over 1.5 million adverse event reports.” But the real number of adverse events is almost certainly much higher, since an “FDA-funded study out of Harvard found that VAERS cases represent fewer than 1 percent of vaccine adverse events.”

Policy experts are also voicing alarm at how the lingering COVID-19 shot mandates represent unnecessary obstacles to receiving a college education.

“The number of publicly funded universities that are still requiring a shot is very worrisome,” Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow at the Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand, adding:

For the students who want to attend college near home and pay in-state tuition, why create another obstacle for them by requiring a controversial vaccine for a disease that doesn’t impact their age cohort severely? Looking through the list of the 48 remaining, many are private colleges and too many have religious affiliations. The sooner we can get this list to zero, the better! And congratulations to the 536 colleges that NEVER required the vaccine. They should also be recognized for their integrity and making student health and medical freedom a top priority. They didn’t stop students from getting vaxxed but they didn’t force the issue.

Jonathan Pidluzny, director of the Higher Education Reform Initiative at the America First Policy Institute, expressed further dismay at the free speech implications that COVID-19 shot requirements likely represent.

“There is no public health justification for COVID-19 vaccine mandates in higher education,” he told The Washington Stand. “It is an empty political gesture. But it tells you something important about the campus: Administrative leaders have surrendered to far-left activists.

“Students who matriculate at those schools can expect four years of anti-intellectual nonsense: from microaggression training camps to shout downs and bias response teams. It would be hard to find a better way to convey to applicants that a university is more interested in exercising top-down control over students’ behavior and thought than in helping them to mature into responsible adults who can think for themselves.”

Originally published by The Washington Stand

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