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48 colleges nationwide still require COVID vaccine

Four dozen colleges in the United States still maintain a COVID-19 vaccine requirement despite the CDC loosening protocols for the virus earlier this month and ongoing concerns about possible side effects and the overall effectiveness of the shots.

The tally is maintained by No College Mandates, an organization critical of the requirements, which argues on its website that the “coercive nature of college vaccine mandates completely disregards students’ individual freedom and right to bodily autonomy.”

The CDC recently recommended that the five-day isolation period for those who test positive for COVID be reduced to a 24-hour isolation period.

Shortly after the announcement, Harvard University ended its COVID vaccine mandate, “walking back on its announcement just weeks earlier that all students needed the shot to register for the fall semester,” the Epoch Times reported.

Additional colleges that ended their mandate shortly after the CDC’s announcement are Montclair State University in New Jersey and St. Mary’s College of California.

Today’s four dozen colleges still requiring the COVID vaccine is down from nearly 100 last summer, as The College Fix reported at the time.

Among the 48 colleges that still maintain a COVID vaccine requirement is Johns Hopkins University, ranked as one of the best public health schools in 2023 by U.S. News & World Report.

Fordham University political science Professor Nicholas Tampio, an alumnus of JHU, authored a Baltimore Sun op-ed piece March 11 urging his alma mater to suspend its COVID vaccine requirement.

Tampio, who earned his doctorate at JHU, wrote it was one of his “proudest accomplishments.” But when his son applied to colleges this year, Tampio did not recommend Johns Hopkins, with the vaccine requirement being a key reason.

Asked what it might take for holdout universities to reconsider COVID policies, Tampio told The College Fix: “It will take pressure on administrators to end COVID-19 mandates at the last remaining holdouts.”

He added in his email interview that the board of trustees at a university has influence, and one approach could be to help them realize that COVID vaccine mandates “cause more harm than good” to university reputations.

One study of 99 million vaccinated individuals revealed “safety signals for myocarditis, pericarditis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis,” Tampio referenced in his op-ed.

Another study found that those who received the COVID vaccine were more likely to contract COVID than individuals who were previously infected with COVID.

JHU’s vaccination information page “refuses to acknowledge natural immunity,” Tampio said, as the page claims prior COVID infection is not a criterion for medical exception.

World-renown biostatistician and infectious-disease epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff was officially terminated from Harvard Medical School this month after refusing the COVID vaccine at the beginning of the pandemic.

Kulldorff told The Wall Street Journal that Harvard hospitals would not approve his medical exemption after he claimed “superior” infection-acquired immunity. His religious exemption was also denied.

Kulldorff had long argued that measures like social distancing, masking children, and vaccination post-infection were not the best approach to the pandemic.

Kulldorff told the Journal that there is a “cartel system” in scientific publishing, and the pandemic showed that smaller countries with independent funding published many “key papers,” as they had “more freedom” and “weren’t dependent on any NIH funding.”

Tampio told The Fix there is no way of knowing whether money is influencing university policy, and that “universities and researchers in the natural sciences depend on grants to do their work.”

“Until universities figure out a way to fund research that does not make the universities beholden to their funders, the best remedy is for people to cite the best data they can and demand that universities have academic integrity,” he said via email.

The NIH has awarded Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences $33,193,472 and Johns Hopkins University $155,405,530 in fiscal year 2024, Tampio told The Fix.

Rutgers, like JHU, still has a COVID vaccine requirement.

Earlier this month, a New Jersey senator said Rutgers should lose state funding for its COVID vaccine requirement.

The College Fix reached out to the office of the dean of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, Dr. Ellen MacKenzie, who did not respond for comment.

MORE: U. Maryland drops COVID policy that booted students from campus

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Anna Lofgren is a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island where she studies secondary education. Anna has been a guest columnist for The Providence Journal and hosts two FM radio shows through her university.