On Monday, the WVU Faculty Senate tabled a resolution to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for students, faculty and staff until the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines could be under further review.
This discussion was brought forward by political science professor Scott Crichlow, a senator from the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences.
“This comes from a variety of viewpoints,” Crichlow said. “One of course is just a basic one that we’re still in a pandemic that’s killed over 575,000 Americans. And while things are going in the right direction, we’re still far from out of the woods.”
Crichlow mentioned other universities like Rutgers University and the University of Michigan are requiring students to get vaccinated before returning to campus for the Fall 2021 semester.
He also pointed out that the University requires other vaccinations including polio and tetanus.
President E. Gordon Gee responded by encouraging everyone to get vaccinated and saying that the university needs to approach mandates with caution.
“I’m not gonna come and drag somebody out of their office and say ‘I’m sorry.’ And I’m gonna give them a jab and neither are you. So I think that we need to be very careful about what we start mandating because mandates can become exploratory on other issues.”
Gee said that he does not think that mandating the vaccine is in the best interest of WVU students and he believes that incentives are better suited than mandates to get people vaccinated.
“I, for one, think that everyone should be vaccinated, but I think it’s an act of kindness; I’m not sure it’s an act of mandate,” Gee said.
Currently the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines all have emergency use authorizations from the FDA. Pfizer-BioNTech recently applied for full FDA approval.