Daniel Lobo | Flickr
One would think something students have had to provide since Kindergarten would stop being an argument at some point
With the incoming Spring 2022 semester looming over Saddleback College students, the slow return to campus is seeing some headway. The general public of Orange County is going on year two of the pandemic, and as the year comes to a close, most responsible students are going out to get vaccinated — or getting their boosters — if they haven’t been already.
For the Fall 2021 semester at Saddleback, the vaccine was highly recommended, but still optional for those attending on-campus classes. This was largely due to the fact that only some classes were taking place on campus and there would not be nearly as many students as there have been in the past.
As the school aims to get back into the swing of things and get the majority of the students back on campus for the next semester, President Stern has instated a vaccine mandate where students will provide immunization records or fill out a medical exemption form in order to excuse the lack of proof of vaccination.
On the official Saddleback College website, it is put plainly, “While our District is finalizing the process, we want you to know that students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to take face-to-face classes. Those who take only online classes and who wish to make scheduled appointments for support only online will not need to be vaccinated.”
Driving by campus on an odd afternoon, there have been grown adults standing at the corners of Campus Dr. and Marguerite Pkwy., holding signs that vehemently protest the vaccine and the idea of making it required for schooling.
As seen a few months ago when local cities like Huntington Beach held “freedom marches” for anti-maskers, people truly will protest anything. One would think people who were so against masks would love to get something that makes them not have to wear them anymore, but alas.
Thing is, vaccine mandates are no big shebang. Students have had to provide immunization records since they entered pre-school, 12 years before they even step foot on Saddleback’s campus.
The only reason a local vaccine mandate that, considering the vaccine has been readily available for all adults for over half a year, most Saddleback students likely already have is because COVID-19 somehow got political way back in early 2020 thanks to former President Trump’s reactions and has not slowed down since.
Amid the new Omicron variant reported by the World Health Organization, it is more important than ever to get vaccinated and continue wearing masks. As President Biden said in a tweet on Nov. 26, “this news is a reminder that this pandemic will not be over until we have global vaccinations.”
Saddleback is only adding one more vaccine to the list of immunizations students are already required to have throughout their years of schooling, unless these protesters are looking to have a measles resurgence any time soon. One pandemic at a time, please.
Students who do not wish to take the vaccine are more than welcome to submit a medical exemption form for review or simply take classes online as they have been for the last year and a half. Really, it should not be an issue at all just to get stabbed with a needle for about two seconds. Speaking of, don’t forget to go get your flu shot, folks and the COVID-19 vaccine, if you haven’t already.