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Penn State Faculty Senate To Vote On Resolution Supporting Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate May 12

Penn State’s Faculty Senate will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, May 12, to discuss supporting a resolution to potentially mandate a COVID-19 vaccine for all students, faculty, and staff ahead of the fall semester.

The new resolution, marked in Appendix A on the senate’s agenda, is sponsored by members of the College of the Liberal Arts Faculty Senate Caucus. More than 20 members of this senate caucus have their names signed on the proposed resolution.

“COVID-19 has had devastating impacts worldwide, killing over 3 million people, including over 575,000 in the United States and over 26,000 in Pennsylvania,” the resolution reads. “Fortunately, multiple vaccines have been developed that have proved highly effective at curbing the spread of COVID-19 and preventing hospitalizations and death and the vaccines are becoming widely available on a daily basis.”

The resolution also noted that, to date, the FDA has approved COVID-19 vaccines only for emergency use, which could be a roadblock for a potential Penn State mandate. However, two-dose vaccine manufacturer Pfizer is reportedly in the process of applying for full use authorization, according to The New York Times.

Penn State already requires students living in on-campus housing to be immunized from mumps and measles, among other infectious diseases. The university has so far only “strongly recommended” students and employees get a COVID-19 vaccine when able.

The University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) already passed a resolution supporting a mandate of COVID-19 vaccines for this fall. UPUA representatives will be able to vote on the Faculty Senate’s resolution this Wednesday as well.

College of Arts and Architecture UPUA representative Megan Neely said the organization is trying to gauge student interest in the vaccine mandate before the Faculty Senate’s vote. Students who plan to attend Penn State in the fall of 2021 can share their thoughts through this anonymous survey.

Some schools around the country, including Big Ten universities like Rutgers, Michigan, and Maryland, have already announced COVID-19 vaccine requirements for the fall. As of Monday, May 10, 42% of Centre County adults have been fully vaccinated against the virus, according to The New York Times.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected].

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