CV NEWS FEED // From Ivy Leagues to community colleges, universities across the nation are still mandating COVID shots three years after the outbreak of COVID-19. As Fall 2023 approaches, more than 100 colleges will be requiring the shots, according to the organization No College Mandates (NCM).
According to the report, 101 colleges still require a COVID shot, including Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Pittsburgh.
Lucia Sinatra co-founded NCM after closely following the data on COVID-19 shots and seeing mandates implemented in colleges, she told CatholicVote.
Sinatra expects that many of the 101 colleges still mandating the shots will remove the requirement for this semester—but it’s too late for many students.
“I’m hoping that we get more colleges that drop [mandates] before fall, but I am frustrated that they’ve waited [until] this late in the season because I think the majority of the students are relying on the current policy,” she explained. “Even if that policy drops a day or two later, you’ve got a number of students that are then complying with the vaccine mandate that the school is saying doesn’t really matter anymore.”
Founded in 2020, the group aims to empower students to make their own choices about the controversial shots given the nonstandard lack of clinical trials and the negative side effects.
Though she was concerned about the shots from the beginning, it was a conversation with her 18-year-old son that inspired Sinatra to start “this mission.”
“My son had a really difficult senior year in high school. He was excluded from a lot of events [because he didn’t submit to a COVID shot]” said Sinatra. One day, he asked her if he could make his own decision about it, even though he knew his mother was against it.
“And I said absolutely,” Sinatra told CatholicVote:
I said what I would like to do is give you some research, both sides, and allow you to make your own decision. I remember the day clearly because he went into his room and he locked himself in for several hours and he came back out and said “Mom, I really don’t feel comfortable taking these vaccines.”
“I realized that if we presented our young adults with the data properly—both sides of the data—that they could make their own informed decisions and be able to choose whether they thought this treatment was right for their personal circumstances or not,” she said.
Then, as Sinatra found schools slowly announcing mandates, she began to seek out a community of other parents on Facebook.
Sinatra found that colleges that mandated COVID shots did so on the basis of CDC guidelines without looking into it themselves.
“I believe that they didn’t properly do their diligence by personally following up with the CDC to make sure the narrative that they were putting out to the community was in fact true,” Sinatra said. “If they were going to impose a mandate to actually find out if the mandate was going to achieve what they were saying.”
NCM has collected information on colleges across the nation. The “Never-mandated” list has become a mark of pride for some institutions. Colleges that the organization has missed have reached out to be added. Meanwhile, parents tell NCM that their kids only apply to “never-mandated” colleges on the list.
“One of our current big pushes is to market this list so that we can help build up these colleges as the future of higher education,” Sinatra explained.
According to NCM, over 500 colleges never required COVID shots, including many Catholic colleges such as Catholic University of America, Wyoming Catholic, and Thomas Aquinas College.
But why do 101 colleges still require the shots? Sinatra believes schools preserve mandates for a variety of reasons, but a lack of pushback from those who disagree is a major factor enabling them to stay in place.
“I could easily give you why I think mandates persist at these colleges,” said Sinatra. “It’s because there are not enough voices pushing back against the imposition and against these requirements.”
“If students push back and alumni push back, and we had more power behind our voice, I think all of the mandates would be gone.”
When Sinatra spoke to the COVID coordinator at Wellesley College, she asked why the Massachusetts college still mandated COVID shots and boosters.
“It was one of the most surreal conversations I had ever had because I felt like they were selectively listening to the data that endorsed the path that they chose to take,” said Sinatra. “So in other words, they felt virtuous, that they were continuing to vaccinate without a realization that continuing to vaccinate might have consequences.”
Harvard and Yale researchers are studying one recently developed COVID shot for possible ill effects.
A Johns Hopkins professor and surgeon cited a Cedars Sinai study that found that during the first two years of COVID, there was a 30% rise in deaths by heart attack among adults between 25 and 44 years of age. Dr. Marty Makary told The Daily Wire that this indicates the shot may increase the risk of heart failure for young adults.
“The state of Florida did their own study, looking at heart attacks after the vaccine in particular, and found that there was an 81% increase in sudden death from heart attacks in the months following the vaccine compared to baseline rates,” said Makary. “So many people do believe that the vaccine is one of the causes of heart problems in young people.”
Both Johns Hopkins and Harvard are still requiring COVID shots this fall.
When there are no more colleges mandating the shots, Sinatra believes NCM’s work will still not be finished.
Sinatra has found that colleges are often “treating the students as one-size-fits-all without taking into consideration everybody’s actual circumstances.”
“I’m not altogether convinced [COVID shots] won’t come back in the form of a potentially combined flu MRNA vaccine which then could become a mandate. I’m not altogether convinced that they won’t morph into some other type of vaccine that could or would become a mandate.”
NCM also hopes to partner with other nonprofit organizations who take on mandates for other shots, Sinatra said.