International Students Struggle to Meet Vaccine Requirements

International Students Struggle to Meet Vaccine Requirements

( – The country is finally starting to reopen in earnest after well over a year of quarantines and other restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Colleges and universities are finally beginning to conduct in-person classes again, but not without a hitch.

Higher education institutes are struggling with how best to reopen their classrooms safely. Over 400 colleges and universities have enacted vaccine mandates, meaning unless students have received the COVID-19 vaccine, they cannot attend in-person classes.

However, many of those mandates were designed for American students, creating unusual, if not impossible, standards for students coming to the United States from abroad.

The Problem With Vaccine Mandates at Colleges and Universities

The New York Times published an in-depth article on June 3 discussing problems associated with enacting vaccine mandates at colleges and universities. Many higher learning institutes have adopted vaccine requirements and enacted rules regarding which vaccines they will accept.

For the most part, colleges and universities require inoculations currently approved by the World Health Organization. Although that may sound simple enough on the surface, it isn’t. Many students don’t have access to those.

The New York Times points to 25-year-old Milloni Doshi, an Indian exchange student hoping to complete her master’s degree later this year at Columbia University. She’s fully vaccinated against COVID-19, having taken both required doses of Covaxin. However, that particular brand is made in India and has yet to receive approval from the World Health Organization.

That means that she needs to be inoculated again with an approved vaccine once she arrives back at school in order to return to classes. She wrote about having concerns about taking two different shots on a messaging app, adding that the situation is “anxiety-inducing” due to all the uncertainty she’s facing.

And she’s not alone. This situation is happening nationwide. However unintentional these problems may have been, they are a reality and highlight some of the issues surrounding vaccine mandates. COVID-19-related mandates took a horrible toll on the nation’s higher learning institutions. It’s high time some voice of reason steps in to create realistic guidelines for in-person learning — at all educational levels, not just colleges and universities.

You can click here to see if your college or university has a vaccine mandate.

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