Parents and students petition against Quinnipiac’s COVID vaccine booster mandate

Chatwan Mongkol, Digital News Editor

Some Quinnipiac University parents and students are urging the administration to change its recently announced COVID-19 vaccine booster mandate to a recommendation, citing “scientific, ethical and legal” concerns.

The open letter, published on on Jan. 13, has gained over 400 signatures. It called the university’s decision “counter to science,” and the booster shot “ineffective” and “potentially dangerous for students,” since most data is preliminary. 

Amanda Riha

Most supporters commented on the petition online that they are advocating for freedom of choice. 

“I care about myself and my community but I also regard my choice to be imperative,” wrote Lori Earl, a supporter of the petition. “I choose to be responsible because I WANT to be NOT because I am TOLD to be.. thank you.”

The petition cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s research that found the transmissibility level of the omicron variant to be similar for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

“The virus will continue to be transmitted among our highly vaccinated campuses,” the petition stated.

However, Senior Medical Advisor Dr. David Hill told The Chronicle earlier this year that getting the booster shot will help the community during this time when the omicron variant is surging.

“Boosting really raises up our antibody levels to a degree that we still may be infected, but it’s less likely and certainly less likely that we would require hospitalization or die from the disease,” Hill said.

The petition also stated the mandate is unethical since it can trigger “generational trauma” in some students from having to get several shots despite being initially told that two shots were enough. 

The Chronicle’s unofficial poll targeting students on Instagram revealed that 80.1% of 121 participants support Quinnipiac’s COVID-19 policies for the spring semester while 19.8% are in opposition.

In terms of the mandate’s legal concerns, the petition stated that the Supreme Court has blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for private workplaces and ruled that it’s an overreach.

Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan said the mandate is in accordance with the CDC’s recommendation that individuals age 18 or older receive a booster shot.

“We appreciate our community’s support of these important health protocols as Quinnipiac continues to promote a healthy and safe learning environment,” Morgan said.

Quinnipiac is requiring students, faculty and staff to receive a booster shot before Feb. 15. There will be an on-campus vaccine clinic on Jan. 31, and Feb. 1. Students are also required to submit a negative COVID-19 negative test upon their return for the spring semester.