University of Akron may reconsider vaccine mandate


AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – It appears the University of Akron is reconsidering a vaccine mandate that was scheduled to go into effect in December.

The university announced the mandate in August, but says there are several reasons that could impact the policy.

In a statement posted on its website, the university says it is reviewing the current policy for any potential changes and they will announce a decision in the near future.

“I’m personally vaccinated so I think it’s better for people to get vaccinated when they can. I think they should keep the mandate,” said student Luke Spiller.

“I’m not 100% sure on [the mandate] just because there’s a lot of people that aren’t for it, and it’s unfair to them, I feel like, but I don’t think it would be a bad idea for safety issues,” said student Sofia Horner.

Students at the University of Akron have different opinions on whether the school should go through with a vaccine mandate on Dec. 13, although all the students FOX 8 ran into Friday evening support getting the shot.

“I think it would just be easier for a lot of people just to get vaccinated because then they don’t have to quarantine and we can possibly not be able to wear masks, but if you don’t want to get vaccinated, that’s your own decision,” said student Maya Oduyoie.

The issue came up at a Faculty Senate meeting. Although the university believes vaccinations are the best way to keep the campus community safe, school officials say state legislation that’s pending in Columbus to ban mandates could affect the university’s policies.

“I think that we should be enforcing science and statistics that are showing that we are having lower rates when everybody is vaccinated… It’s the only way that we are going to get out of this and the only way that we can go back to doing normal classes and not wearing these stupid masks all the time,” said student Alex Shimler.

According to the University of Akron website, 70% of the university’s staff members are vaccinated and about 57% of the school’s more than 16,000 students have received the shot.

The university says the vaccine mandate policy was developed when vaccination rates were low and cases across the state and the nation were skyrocketing.

“We should mandate vaccines here and everywhere because I believe in science… I really don’t want to die of a deadly, deadly virus,” said student Darl Smyth.

Currently, masks are required for anyone inside any building on campus.

There’s no word on exactly when a decision about the vaccination mandate will be made.

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