Colleges nationwide are continuing to crackdown on unvaccinated students, with one school issuing weekly $200 fines to those who’ve yet to get the jab.
Students who don’t abide by Quinnipiac University’s vaccine mandate will receive weekly $100 fines for the first two weeks of non-compliance, and additional $200 weekly fines going forward.
Students who delay getting vaccinated beyond September 14 will lose their on-campus Wifi privileges, staff said in an email to students.
The consequences of defying vaccine mandates don’t end there.
Virginia Tech has kicked out more than 100 students who failed to submit COVID-19 vaccination documentations, university officials said August 31.
Of the about 37,000 Virginia Tech students expected when classes began last week, 134 were booted for failing to submit their proof of vaccination or exemption documents, university spokesman Mark Owczarski told the Roanoke Times.
Earlier that month, University of Virginia kicked out 238 students for failure to comply with the school’s vaccination requirements, though of those the school says only 48 were enrolled for fall classes.
The California State University (CUS) system announced in late July that unvaccinated staff and students would not be permitted on campus beyond September 30.
Those who choose not to get vaccinated would likely have the option of studying remotely, officials said.
‘The current surge in COVID cases due to the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant is an alarming new factor that we must consider as we look to maintain the health and well-being of students, employees and visitors to our campuses this fall,’ said CSU chancellor Joseph I. Castro said in a statement. ‘Receiving a COVID vaccine continues to be the best way to mitigate the spread of the virus.’
Higher education institutes are not the only ones insisting on a vaccinated student body.
The Los Angeles Unified School District’s board of education voted Thursday to mandate vaccines for all children aged 12 and up. (Those younger are not yet eligible to receive an injection.)
Qualifying students who have not had at least one jab by October 3 will not be allowed on campus, the district said. The middle- and high schoolers must be fully inoculated by October 30.
Many parents took issue with the initiative, and protested outside the district’s administrative offices.
‘As parents we have a lot of concerns about this vaccine,’ one mother told the board. ‘This vaccine is experimental… This decision should be made by parents, not by you.’
Ahead of the school year, health officials issued numerous statements in an attempt to dispel the misguided notion that children cannot contract the virus.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those younger than 30 accounted for more than 20 percent of the nation’s COVID-19 cases.
More than five million children tested positive for the virus as of September 2, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A record number of kids were confirmed to have the virus between August 5 and September 2, when more than 750,000 cases were reported, the AAP said.
Nearly 30,000 children have been hospitalized with the virus, The New York Times reported.
‘It should concern us all that hospitalizations – indicators of severe illness – are rising in the pediatric population, when there are a lot of steps we could take to prevent many of these hospitalizations,’ epidemiologist said Jason L. Salemi, who tracks COVID-19 data, told the outlet.
As students at all levels return to the classroom for fall semester, the debate over vaccination and mask mandates is heating up across the country.
At Western Michigan University, four female soccer players sued the school for threatening to kick them off the team if they don’t get vaccinated, saying the mandate violates their religious beliefs.
In several states including Texas and Florida, Republican governors have banned government vaccine mandates, including at publicly funded universities.
Those executive orders are now under legal challenges, with opponents arguing that school vaccine mandates are necessary in a congregate setting, as the highly infectious Delta variant drives a surge of infections.
In California and New York, meanwhile, nearly all public and private universities require students to get vaccinated.
In New York, public universities cannot even allow for religious exemptions, while a majority of the state’s private universities can.
Most universities already require proof of routine vaccinations such as measles, mumps and rubella in order to enroll in classes.