An Ivy League College Is Making an Interesting Exemption for the COVID Vaccine

Posted: Jan 04, 2021 7:30 AM
An Ivy League College Is Making an Interesting Exemption for the COVID Vaccine

Source: AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Now that the Wuhan coronavirus vaccine is being distributed across the United States, health care providers are doing everything in their power to make sure as many Americans as humanly possible receive the vaccine. The goal is to create herd immunity, but in order to be successful, a high percentage of the population has to receive the vaccine. It's why hospitals and medical facilities, some employers, and even colleges and universities are requiring employees and students to receive the vaccine.

Cornell University is requiring students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in order to take classes on campus beginning in the Fall of 2021. There will be religious exemptions for those with medical issues or religious conflicts. Interestingly enough, the Ivy League college is also providing an exemption for students of color.

"Per Cornell Unversity's COVID-19 Behavioral Compact, flu vaccination is required for all students studying on the Ithaca campus during the Fall 2020 semester," the health center's FAQs section explains. "(Exceptions may be made for those who receive a medical, religious, or other exemption.) Students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or as a Person of Color (BIPOC) may have personal concerns about fulfilling the Compact requirements based on historical injustices and current events, and may find this information helpful."

Students of color are guided to an additional information page that talks about how Blacks and Indigenous people were frequently "mistreated, and used by people in power, sometimes for profit or medical gain." The university also referenced "recent acts of violence against Black people by law enforcement may contribute to feelings of distrust or powerlessness."

Because the Wuhan coronavirus impacts minorities with comorbidities at higher rates, the university acknowledges that many people of color will not have access to the vaccine. They are determined to correct that.

"Away from campus community, BIPOC individuals are not as likely to have access to preventive services or quality health care," the information page explains. "The systems, services, and policies being implemented at Cornell seek to address these inequalities as well as the differential impacts."

If Cornell is worried about addressing "mistreatments" then so be it. Have lectures and discussions about what wrongs have taken place. Allow for policy discussions. But don't effectively make a requirement that is solely for whites. That's the definition of reverse racism.

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