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Post community responds to vaccine mandates

By Alexander Mousa, Staff Writer

President Joe Biden addressed the nation on the COVID-19 pandemic on Sept. 9. The main focus of this address was to get Americans vaccinated. 

“COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19,” the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said.

With full Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Biden announced that his administration will start mandating vaccines on the federal level. 

Biden’s administration is requiring vaccines for federal contractors, all healthcare workers and most people employed by federal agencies. The mandate requires private sector companies that employ more than 100 workers to require all employees to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or get tested weekly. 

States and cities are also introducing mandates. New York City is requiring businesses to check for proof of vaccination for entry to most indoor activities, including restaurants and theatres. Los Angeles is requiring proof of vaccination for all kids 12 and older that attend public schools in-person. NYC has not required proof of vaccination for public k-12 schools yet.

Some students support these plans initiated by the Biden administration.

 “As long as the vaccine is FDA approved, I think [the government] can mandate it,” sophomore childhood education major Daniella Azzaretto said. “If it’s approved, schools and other institutions should be able to mandate it the same way they have mandated other vaccines for decades. I think having most people vaccinated will help stop the spread and return us to normal.”

The NYC mandate affects the Post community more than other mandates.

“Until the pandemic gets under control, we have to do what we can to stop the spread,” communications professor Dr. Jennifer Cusumano said. “I understand why people would have concerns about a mandate like this, but we are in a major pandemic. I think some people will try to get around following the mandate.”

Cusumano agrees that people should question decisions they make when it comes to their own health, but that individuals should also use the guidance from doctors to guide themselves forward. 

Sophomore nutrition and dietetics major Amanda Battista sees both sides of the issue.

“Now that the vaccine is FDA approved I think it can go both ways,” Battista said. “The vaccine definitely helps you and others around you if you get it, but people should still have a choice. Mandating it or not isn’t going to end the pandemic because there are so many people who cannot get the vaccine. I still think that the president should encourage people who are eligible to get vaccinated, but not force it on anyone.”

Many students and faculty at Post comply with the state and university rules by wearing their masks indoors. As time goes on, COVID-19 fatigue may affect the success of federal and state-level mandates.

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