Miina McCown/The Broadside
With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming readily available for those twelve years of age and older in Oregon, the vaccine is also a requirement of many colleges and universities of students when returning to in-person learning this fall. While many public colleges are enforcing this requirement including Oregon State University Cascades, Central Oregon Community College is not.
The Broadside spoke with a couple of COCC students to hear their input on COCC’s decision.
Jacqueline Parks stated that she is more or less indifferent. “Honestly, I can’t say much about it since it is their choice in the end. But as a student who is vaccinated, it’s not as if getting the vaccine is a hard or bad thing. I think everyone should get the vaccine since it is very beneficial and so easy to obtain. But since it is a personal choice, I get why COCC isn’t requiring students to have it.”
Another student, Anna Koch stated that she is “surprised and happy” by the decision. “This allows those who want to get the vaccine to do so and those who don’t, to [not need to]. If someone doesn’t want to interact with someone who doesn’t get a vaccine, that also allows them the option to continue online classes. In my opinion, this is the fairest option and I’m glad to see the school reopen its doors to in-person classes,” she said.
According to a recent press release, COCC has stated that they are “committed” to doing everything they can to educate in support of the COVID-19 vaccines as well as providing equitable access to the Pfizer vaccine to all students and employees.
COCC also shares weekly employee and student-faced pro-COVID-19 vaccination communications through newsletters and announcements. Additionally, COCC is a member of the Central Oregon Vaccine Confidence Coalition, whose mandates consist of prioritizing and providing access to vaccine information for systemically marginalized communities within the district.
COCC also hopes to encourage students to get their vaccines using their cohosted vaccination clinics at the COCC and OSU cascades campuses. For more information regarding the clinics specifically, The Broadside has another article covering it.
Since the clinics have opened for their first dose times recently, The Broadside got an exclusive look at the vaccine clinic at COCC, where students and other guests received their first doses of the Pfizer shot, which can be viewed in the photo gallery below.