AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Vaccinations are officially a requirement at all University of Massachusetts schools, a federal judge affirmed the requirement during a ruling on Thursday, August 26.
The University of Massachusetts called the decision a victory for the campus.
This is an important ruling for UMass as it allows us to continue taking the steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty.
It also sends a strong message to those higher education institutions across the country that are putting the well-being of their campus communities first as we all begin a new academic year.UMass President Marty Meehan
According to the UMass Amherst website, the institution urged students to get their first vaccination shot no later than July 23. This way students would be fully vaccinated before returning to campus at the end of August. 22News spoke with UMass students and their parents helping them move in on Friday afternoon.
“Well I don’t think anyone has died from the vaccination yet and it seems to be effective, so I don’t know how it’s even much of a decision,” UMass Parent Kevin Furilla said.
Another parent, John Green agreed with the federal ruling to an extend, but fears mandates are taking too much control.
“I think it’s better safe than sorry, but I think the governments getting carried away with the vaccinations, I think they’re going to the other extreme now with the younger kids,” Green said.
In addition to the university’s vaccination requirement for students, faculty, and staff, UMass Amherst is also requiring the campus community to wear masks in indoor public spaces.
“The idea that everyone is vaccinated and still a mask requirement, in my opinion, is ridiculous,” UMass Amherst student Jeffrey Sullivan said.
“Especially for 20 years olds if they’re healthy, I don’t think we need to be both vaccinated and masked up,” said Andrew Gallucci, also a UMass student.
The following quote is from the CDC’s website, called a Science Brief: COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination
A growing body of evidence indicates that people fully vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) are less likely than unvaccinated persons to acquire SARS-CoV-2 or to transmit it to others. However, the risk for SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection in fully vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated as long as there is continued community transmission of the virus.Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention
The town of Amherst also has a mask order in place, also requiring people to wear masks in indoor public spaces. This mandate went into effect on August 18.