Quinnipiac students react to being eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Nicole McIsaac, Associate News Editor

All Quinnipiac University students, including out-of-state and international students, are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in accordance with the state’s expanded guidelines. 

Students can register for an appointment through Connecticut’s vaccine administration management system, with their medical provider, a local pharmacy or by calling the vaccine appointment assist line at 877-918-2224. When arriving on site for their appointment, students are recommended to bring their student ID as proper identification.

Morgan Tencza

Quinnipiac is also looking to create an easier system for students to access and receive their vaccinations before the end of the semester. 

“We are exploring the possibility of hosting a vaccine clinic on campus for our students before the semester ends on May 7,” said John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations. “We expect to have more information over the next few weeks.” 

Despite the university pushing to establish vaccination clinics on campus, some students shared their urgency in wanting to receive the COVID-19 doses as soon as possible. 

“I have signed up for a COVID-19 vaccination because I want to be safe around my family and friends and not have to worry about infecting anyone who might be at risk,” said Taylor Garritano, a senior public relations major. “There are plenty of options, but I am choosing to get my vaccine to help better other lives and to eventually lower cases.” 

In correlation to wanting to receive the vaccination, students are also stressing the importance of other community members receiving the vaccination as well. 

“I feel others should consider getting the vaccine because they can lower cases in the United States,” Garritano said. “They can help prevent the spread of (COVID-19) to those who have autoimmune diseases and the elderly. It’s really up to everyone but getting the vaccine would help open our economy and get back on track to living the life before this pandemic.”

Other institutions of higher learning such as Rutgers University, have already mandated that students get the COVID-19 vaccine before returning for the fall 2021 semester. However, Quinnipiac has not released information and intends on leaving the decision up to the students. Garritano said she believes a vaccine requirement should be a topic of conversation despite not believing it is necessary.

“I don’t think the vaccine should be mandated because people are free to make the decisions for themselves,” Garritano said. “Still, I highly recommend people getting the vaccine so people can live a safer and healthier lifestyle.”

Similar to Garritano, other students believe that the vaccination should not be required but rather encouraged. 

“I don’t think it should be mandated, but there should be incentives for those to get it,” said Joshua Finkel, a first-year finance major. “For example, if QU says fully vaccinated students can gather indoors with no masks, social distancing or indoor capacity restrictions, I believe more students will get the vaccine.”

Finkel said he plans to receive his vaccination when he is eligible in his home state of New York, but believes everyone should receive their vaccine when it is their turn. 

“I think the No. 1 thing we all can do to stop COVID-19 is to get vaccinated,” Finkel said. “I believe the benefits of getting vaccinated outweigh the risk.” 

In close correlation, some students see the benefits of other university members receiving their vaccine as a direct outcome of their safety on campus. 

“I, personally, feel safer now that more people are going to be vaccinated,” said Michele Ryan, third year interactive design major. “I feel this way primarily because I won’t be in fear as much when someone comes closer to me in public.”

Ryan stressed that these concerns regarding personal safety have not only translated to her encounters within the Quinnipiac community, but also to her additional work endeavors. 

“I work part-time in a grocery store and at times, customers will ask me questions,” Ryan said. “While I enjoy helping them out, they’ll get really close sometimes when asking for help. I think it will make me feel much calmer at work knowing that there is a good chance they will be vaccinated.”

Ryan said that although she holds such concerns about her well-being, she ultimately believes vaccination should result in a freedom of choice. 

“During this time, those that aren’t ready should have that basic right to hold off until they feel comfortable,” Ryan said. “I also think that if fun activities start requiring that you provide a vaccination card, people will take it anyway despite their views.”