ASU: A COVID-19 Vaccination Site


David Campbell

President Quinton T. Ross Jr., Ed.D., announces that Alabama State University is now an administration site for the Alabama Department of Public Health COVID-19 vaccinations during a news conference held on Jan. 25 in the G. H. Lockhart Gymnasium.

Micah Sanders

Alabama State University has become a COVID-19 vaccine administration site. On Jan. 25, President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., announced the news during a press conference. With 2,000 Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, the university plans to offer them in phases. Lockhart Gym, located on campus, will be the site where the vaccine will be administered to people 75 years old or older, first responders and law enforcement, then to the rest of the general public. 

Right after the conference concluded, staff members from the university’s Health Center and Department of Public Safety were injected with the vaccine. While the injections are considered to be in phases and with the arrival of this recent news, most students on campus figure that sooner or later, the vaccine will be required to attend the university in-person. Some students are upset at the fact that vaccines are even being considered to be mandatory. 

“I feel that it would honestly be unfair and unjust if taking the COVID-19 vaccine was mandatory to be on campus,” said junior communications major Jessica Knox. “Being that the COVID-19 vaccine is not FDA approved but instead only EUA approved, which means by law they do not have to necessarily take the precautions. It’s not right. You wouldn’t give someone your cooking if you haven’t tried it yourself, so why would you give the student body, the people who make your university stand, a vaccine that has not been tried for a decent amount of time? Not only would that be taking away the freedom of choice, but it could actually cause more harm than good.” 

Agreeing with Knox, junior communications major MaKaylah Butler thinks the vaccine will not be widely accepted by students on campus and taking the necessary precautions, such as correctly wearing masks and washing their hands, is enough to keep students safe.

“I do not feel comfortable taking a vaccine that was created in such a short amount of time. There have been a lot of stories and cases of negative reactions to the shot. As a student paying to earn education, it is unfair to mandate a life changing decision,” Butler explained. “I feel each student should have a choice. It’s already a risk factor having students on campus during a pandemic. To have a testing site is much worse.”  

Another student voicing his concern on the issue is senior communications major Deaundre Elam. Elam is on the fence when it comes to the impending vaccine mandate, but he tilts more toward the side of supporting it.  

“On one hand, it’s nothing more than another vaccination requested for attendance to an institute, similar to what is done through grade school. It puts the faculty and other student body in a safer environment for their education,” explained Elam. “Although, on the other hand, people fear side effects and simply the unknowns of the new vaccine.” 

He goes on to say that not knowing the various symptoms and side effects of the vaccine is not enough substantial information for people to not want to take it. While some students think the impending mandatory vaccine is an immorally wrong decision, senior political science major Wyman Kirby thinks otherwise.

“I feel that [the vaccine] is a necessary step. Students now are going to parties and kickbacks and walking around as if we aren’t in a pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccine has major side effects, but if we ever want to get back to some semblance of the pre-pandemic times, ASU must enforce students taking the vaccine whenever it is ready.” said Kirby. 

As the vaccinations are being implemented to first responders, the university has yet to release any information in regard to a possible mandatory vaccine for next semester, but as some of the ASU students have noted, that announcement may not be received so well.