College students among those cleared to schedule vaccine appointments

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 10:51 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s announcement that counties can open up COVID-19 vaccine appointments to anyone 16 and older starting Monday (March 29), is encouraging news for college students who are looking forward to campus life more closely resembling how things were prior to the pandemic.

On Friday, Eyewitness News spoke with students at Wichita State University who say they will get a COVID-19 vaccine at some point. Some say they plan to schedule appointments next week, while others say they’re not in a hurry.

Thursday, Rutgers University in New Jersey announced that its students must get the shot to return to campus next fall. It’s the first college in the U.S. to put a policy like this in place.

Wichita State student Anna Smoots said she’s support a policy like this at WSU.

“I think it’s a good idea, just so that we’re all safe and we all have the same rules to follow,” she said.

Some students say a fully-vaccinated campus would help them feel safer and make it possible to have fewer restrictions,. This could mean fuller, in-person classes, a return to larger crowds at sporting events and no masks.

Others aren’t quite on board with a campus-wide policy.

“I think it should be someone’s choice whether they want to or not, but I understand where they’re coming from,” Wichita State student Adam Monroe said.

Making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory wouldn’t be much of a stretch for schools. Wichita State already requires students who live on campus to be vaccinated from meningitis and recommends a handful of other vaccines for incoming students.

Kansas state law also requires college students to complete a tuberculosis screening before attending. So far, no Kansas college has announced any COVID-19 vaccine requirements, but some schools like KU do require testing for students when they return to campus each semester.

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