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College Vaccine Mandates: Here to Stay?

College Vaccine Mandates: Here to Stay?

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It is January 2024, and Covid vaccine mandates persist at 70 of the top 800 colleges in the US, and who knows if they will ever let them go. If you are a healthcare major, nearly every clinical partner site still mandates that healthcare students take the most updated Covid vaccine (often no exemptions accepted) even if those sites are affiliated with colleges and universities that do not currently mandate Covid vaccines.

It is truly remarkable with all that we have learned about these novel medical treatments that colleges can still coerce students into taking them. In fact, it is truly remarkable that any college ever announced Covid vaccine mandates in the spring of 2021 given that by this time the CDC (upon which the colleges dutifully and explicitly relied) knew they were ineffective at preventing infection and transmission. So, while we have all come to understand that mandating students to take Covid vaccines does very little if anything to protect the vulnerable members of the community, this remains the single biggest reason colleges put forth to explain why they mandate(d) them.

When colleges began preparing to return to in-person learning in the Fall of 2021, they built Covid dashboards to keep track of infection rates on campus. At that time, there were both large college systems and small colleges that never mandated Covid vaccines and that fared better week-to-week with Covid infection rates than other large and small colleges that mandated Covid vaccines.

I analyzed colleges in New Hampshire over several months only to find that the University of New Hampshire, which never mandated Covid vaccines and has triple the undergraduate enrollment of Dartmouth College, consistently had less Covid infections on their dashboard than Dartmouth, which announced a Covid vaccine mandate in April of 2021. I wrote to Dartmouth administrators countless times to point this out, but I either got no reply or no acknowledgement of my observations. Dartmouth ended their Covid vaccine mandate on April 11, 2023, two years after they implemented it, and after over 98% of their campus community had taken the initial series and at least one booster.

Prior to fall 2021, to help ensure a high uptake of Covid vaccines, Jerome Adams, the Surgeon General at the time, wrote an “Open Letter to Leaders in Higher Education” urging them to mandate Covid vaccines on college campuses. If colleges choose not to mandate Covid vaccines “we are asking leaders to take strong steps to get as close as possible to 100 percent of their students, faculty and staff vaccinated early in the academic year.” 

The letter went on to say “[f]or all colleges and universities, we also encourage steps to make vaccination easy. Set up pop-up vaccine clinics to meet students as they return to campus, including move-in, orientation, football games and tailgates, and at student life events. Offer paid leave for staff and faculty to get vaccinated and in the event of side effects. Engage with your student leaders to get word out about vaccination to other students. Start a student ambassador program using the ACHA toolkit here. Peer-to-peer engagement is one of the best ways to achieve behavior change in young adults.” The letter was signed by 38 other “public health and science experts, leaders in health, education, and civil society, and former officials from both political parties.”

The “toolkit” referenced in the letter was created by the American College Health Association (“ACHA”) which receives its largest funding from Pfizer and the CDC. It was fraught with false statements and suggested coercive tactics that paid college student influencers could use to bully other students into taking Covid vaccines. Many student influencers were hired at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (“HBCUs”) of which at least 9 HBCUs still have a Covid vaccine mandate. The false marketing materials have since been deleted from the ACHA website and replaced with a legal landscape memorandum which you can read here

Shortly after this open letter was sent, the White House rolled out the College Covid-19 Vaccine Challenge with as much propaganda and as many false narratives as they could create, none of it backed by data or science but simply because this would ensure huge vaccine uptake from captive college students of which there were 19 million as per the letter. Many of these students had already paid tuition, some had already enrolled, and most were made to feel so afraid for their lives and the lives of vulnerable members of the community who would surely die if all students didn’t take their required Covid vaccines. Of course, this never happened but the idea of saying no or pushing back against these mandates would have led to disenrollment from their programs or their beloved college or worse, social suicide from which they would never recover so they remained silent to the tyranny and still largely do. 

While an official transcript of Dr Anthony Fauci’s testimony in private sessions held by the US Select Subcommittee over the last few days has yet to be released, the Select Subcommittee posted on X (formerly Twitter) that one of the highlights of Day 2 of his testimony was that “Dr Fauci advised American universities to impose vaccine mandates on their students.” Representative Brad Wenstrup posted on the homepage of his website a statement which read in part, “It is clear that dissenting opinions were often not considered or suppressed completely.” While arguably the most contemptible abuse of power in recent history, at this point, it should come as no surprise.

By or before the spring of 2022, colleges and universities began removing their Covid dashboards. Many explained it was because their communities were over 90% vaccinated so they didn’t need to track infections any longer. We all know, however, it was because the vaccines didn’t work to stop the transmission of Covid on college campuses and administrators could not bear to post any evidence that pointed to the utter failure of Covid vaccine mandates. 

Some of us knew from the beginning and the rest of us have come to learn that college Covid vaccine mandates were ineffective at “protecting the community” from the spread of the virus, but whether colleges and universities will ever admit this is another matter entirely. In fact, to this day, the colleges that still mandate Covid vaccines continue to regurgitate “We must continue to be diligent to prevent the spread of the virus.”

You can find the most up-to-date list of colleges that still mandate vaccines on the homepage of our website or by clicking here.

You can also find my favorite list of colleges that never mandated Covid vaccines on the homepage of our website or by clicking here. There are caveats, however, as some of the colleges on the never list would have mandated Covid vaccines if not prevented by state law from doing so. Read all the notes carefully, and if you know of other colleges to add to this list or have had coercive experiences with colleges that we didn’t note, please email us at: info@nocollegemandates.com.

In the fall of 2021, we began tracking over 800 of the “top” colleges and universities in the US that mandated Covid vaccines, and we continue to track each of those colleges offering daily updates as they slowly announce(d) the end of their mandates. Never did I think in 2024 there would be 70 colleges that refused to drop Covid vaccine mandates in favor of the prevailing science which so few in the medical establishment and in higher education will review, study, or endorse yet here we are. 



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Author

  • Lucia Sinatra

    Lucia is a recovering corporate securities attorney. After becoming a mother, Lucia turned her attention to fighting inequities in public schools in California for students with learning disabilities. She co-founded NoCollegeMandates.com to help fight college vaccine mandates.

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