MONTEREY COUNTY (KION) COVID-19 vaccine mandates have been a topic of debate in the United States, especially on university campuses.
In April, the University of California and California State University systems announced they want to require students, faculty and staff to get COVID-19 vaccines before returning to campus in the fall. Students had mixed reactions.
At UC Santa Cruz, most students new and returning say for the most part, they do not mind the vaccine requirement. Octavio Pescador, a returning sophomore says he is fully vaccinated but explains he feels there should be some exemptions to include more students and staff.
“If there’s students who do not have the means to get the vaccine, I definitely think they should be allowed on campus, even with COVID tests every week or every day if they have to,” says Pescador.
UC Santa Cruz states a system requiring individuals on campus to upload proof of vaccines will be available by July 15th. The school adds there will be some exemptions for those with medical conditions but aside that, other college students say there are more things at play.
“There’s other people who have religious beliefs who can’t believe the vaccine because of what they believe in, that’s a bigger problem amongst more of like, the staff and actual workers at the school," says Jose Pescador.
Jose says he believes limiting those allowed on campus could also have some negative financial impacts on schools.
“Our school could end up losing a lot of money, a lot of funding...how much of the staff is actually willing to work because some of the staff could be at risk too and also not have the vaccine available," says Jose.
Although some say they feel getting the vaccine should be a personal choice regardless of where they go, others say its a matter of safety.
“If you’re going to college you already have to get all your other vaccines and show how you’re vaccinated to get into school so having one more vaccine isn’t really a big deal," says UCSC student Joseph Halloran.
After a year of having to learn from home, students say they are just happy to be able to return to the classroom this fall.