Some Catholic colleges forgo vaccine mandates, worrying public health experts | National Catholic Reporter

An increasing number of U.S. Catholic colleges and universities have required that students be vaccinated against the coronavirus before returning to campus in the fall of 2021. But some major Catholic institutions have not, citing state regulations or already high vaccination rates among their student bodies. Those not mandating include the Catholic University of America and two institutions in Florida. The decision by some campuses to forgo a vaccine mandate worried ethicists and public health experts who spoke to NCR. Jason Eberl, director of the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics at St. Louis University, a Jesuit institution, is in favor of vaccine mandates. “I think it’s something that is essential for the sake of preserving the common good,” he said. Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, said relying on a certain percentage of the campus population to get vaccinated voluntarily isn’t the safest approach for colleges to take. It’s hard for colleges to accurately know what percentage of their community is vaccinated, she said, because people come to the school from around the world and are constantly entering and leaving campus. With new, more contagious variants of the virus on the rise, outbreaks will spread faster and be harder to contain, she said.

Some Catholic colleges forgo vaccine mandates, worrying public health experts | National Catholic Reporter

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