Cornell University has a mandatory requirement for students that they receive a flu vaccine—but there is an eyebrow-raising exception.
"Cornell is requiring through its Behavioral Compact flu vaccination for Ithaca-based students as a public health strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," the school states.
The university's aim is to reduce the spread of flu so that healthcare providers can focus on those students exposed to the novel coronavirus.
But due to "historical injustices and current events," the school adds, "students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or as a Person of Color (BIPOC) may have personal concerns about fulfilling the Compact requirements."
Campus Reform was the first to report the notable exception.
Students can send a private message to Cornell Health in order to request a non-medical or non-religious exemption for the immunization. For more information, the FAQ links to a page “especially for students of color,” which is meant to help minority students concerned about the flu vaccine requirement.
“We recognize that, due to longstanding systemic racism and health inequities in this country, individuals from some marginalized communities may have concerns about needing to agree to such requirements,” explains the page. “For example, historically, the bodies of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) have been mistreated, and used by people in power, sometimes for profit or medical gain.”
The university, therefore, considers it “understandable that the current Compact requirements may feel suspect or even exploitative to some BIPOC members of the Cornell community.”
Nevertheless, Cornell strongly encourages minority students to receive immunizations. (Campus Reform)
As many pointed out on Twitter, this is coming from the "party of science."
You cannot make this up... Cornell made the flu vaccine mandatory for white people, but optional for minorities. https://t.co/K7nkHfqMjm— Cabot Phillips (@cabot_phillips) December 7, 2020