Eastern Oregon University is The last public university The state announced that students and employees need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter campus in the fall. It is also the only one to take effect after at least one shot has been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration, rather than the current emergency use authorization. Other Oregon universities require shooting regardless of the approval status, but they allow exemptions. (Vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna have both applied for full approval of their vaccines, and experts generally expect this to be completed within a few months.)
Why is this university different from its peers? Attorneys for Eastern Oregon President Thomas A. Insko told him that legal issues are not the main obstacle to authorization. “From a legal point of view,” he said, “I don’t think it is necessary to obtain full FDA approval.” Insko added that emergency use authorization is “sufficient.”
“This is not the main motivation for our decision,” he said.
Rather, the decision was made to accommodate the fears and reservations of people on campus. After investigating students, faculty and staff, Insko decided that waiting for full approval would help resolve the hesitation about the vaccine and make people more likely to accept this authorization. According to data provided by the university, in an online survey, 65% of the students interviewed said that they believe that Eastern Oregon does not need to be vaccinated in the fall. Only among the faculty and staff who responded, there were more people who wanted to be empowered than they didn’t—75% vs. 22%, and the rest were unsure. Among employees, 43% want necessary shots, 47% do not want authorization, and the rest are not sure.
Kaitlyn Jones is a student of the university’s agricultural program.She said in the chat message chronicle She is “not sure” about the Covid vaccine. She wrote, “There is only a lot of information and misinformation about it circulating around.” “It’s hard to know what to believe.” She will graduate after the end of the summer semester this year, so this task will not affect her, but she said that if necessary, she will take action, although she thinks it might hurt her. “In the past five years, my education has been my top priority,” she wrote. “My health ranks second. Regardless of whether I am skeptical or not, I will do what is necessary to continue my studies.” (Although Flu-like side effects So far, serious problems with the Covid-19 vaccine are common Extremely rare.)
Insko said that in informal conversations, emergency use authorizations for vaccines are often worrying. In fact, although the EUA process does require companies to show safety data to the FDA, full approval requires a longer period of data. Jones wrote that if the Covid vaccine was fully approved, she “definitely” would feel better.
At the same time, in the surrounding Lianhe County, only about 36% Residents have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, compared to 56% statewide, while in Benton and Multnomah counties where Oregon State University and Portland State University are located, the proportion exceeds 60%.
Insko said the Lianhe County figures reflect local attitudes and culture.The eastern part of the state tends to be more rural and Conservative Not the coastal cities that see Oregon as a safe haven for freedom. Peter Mailer, associate professor of economics and former chair of the Academic Council, pointed out that eastern Oregon is close to Idaho. Idaho is known for its conservative politics. Facts have proved that Idaho is more resistant to Covid vaccine authorization. Portlandia, this is not.
“In eastern Oregon, our vaccination rates are far from as high as we would like to see,” Insko said. “People are hesitant about vaccines. Frankly speaking, this is a wider space. These are smaller communities.” He said that means that people are less concerned about getting Covid-19, “regardless of whether this is appropriate or not. .”
Insko still knows that some kind of authorization is in the best interest of the campus, especially considering the low vaccination rate in the surrounding area.
“I support it,” said Maille, who has been vaccinated. “I don’t have much trouble with the fact that it is waiting for the FDA’s full approval.” He said that this approval will make people “arguably support” mandatory vaccination as “safer.”
Brady Layman is a senior with a double degree in molecular biology and chemistry. He has different feelings. He hopes to start the mission now. He said that the Covid-19 vaccine has “proved to be safe.”
“I can’t agree with them to wait because I feel that if the vaccine is not fully approved by the FDA at the beginning of the fall, it will put us at risk of a potential outbreak,” he said.
Insko said that if full FDA approval is not obtained before the start of the 2021-22 school year, the university will determine the Covid safety policy based on the current campus vaccination and community infection rates. Students and employees who have not been vaccinated may have to receive daily health certificates, and managers are “discussing” whether they want to monitor and test those who have not been vaccinated. Insko said that in order to protect people from “humiliation,” any differences in the agreement between vaccinated and unvaccinated people will not be apparent from the outside. For example, there will be no different rules for wearing masks.
Despite disagreements, Layman said he understood why the university had to wait for full approval. “There is this feeling of hesitation in the area,” he said. In fact, he is from the Portland metropolitan area and chose to come to Eastern Oregon partly because he knows that politics and culture are different from his hometown: “I want to get a different perspective.”