Health security or more than that?

Starting Monday, AUB students will no longer be allowed to enter the university campus and resume their academic year unless they have received at least one dose of the Corona vaccine. Thus, AUB is the only university in Lebanon that has adopted imposing vaccinations on its students. This decision may seem appropriate in light of the renewed spread of the Corona virus, but it carries with it doubts about the reasons and necessity of this measure.

We are not talking here about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, but about their being mandatory. For example, the Lebanese American University “LAU” went to oblige those who opted not to take the vaccine to conduct a weekly “PCR” test at their own expense. More broadly, about 829 American universities require the vaccine for the new academic year (most of them in the states that chose Joe Biden in the last major elections), while British and German universities do not have this to date. One of the most important reasons for this controversy is the fact that vaccines continue to be experimental until today, and that they are of higher benefit to the elderly who are more vulnerable.

But it may justify the universities that required vaccinations for their fear of new mutants, such as “Delta”, in which the second dose of the vaccine is no longer enough to prevent infection, as this clearly shows in the United States, Britain and occupied Palestine, knowing that it still protects against severe symptoms of the disease. In addition, the next wave of the virus spreading in the winter may be similar to the one seen last year and ended with a complete closure in most countries, including Lebanon.

However, it is strange that the US administration has taken such a decision in light of a comprehensive health failure to control the spread of the virus outside the university’s walls, meaning that vaccination will not be sufficient to prevent the emergence or import of mutant mutants. The renewed threat of “Corona” to exhaust hospitals is about to be non-existent in light of the horrific calamities that are gradually destroying the continuity of this sector in Lebanon, including the American University Hospital itself, which was about to die two weeks ago due to the loss of fuel. This is knowing that obtaining the vaccine for the most vulnerable, i.e. the elderly and medical staff, is worthy of alleviating the obsession with hospital exhaustion as a result of “Corona” even if societal infections rise.

As for saying that immunizing students through the vaccine is evidence of the priority of the university’s health safety, we exclude the validity of this claim. For example, the university vaccination campaign did not warn of a rare symptom of myocarditis for men under the age of twenty-five who received the Pfizer vaccine, while it did warn of other rare symptoms such as anaphylaxis and that pregnant women should consult their doctor, noting that Rare myocarditis symptoms are listed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also, resorting to compulsory vaccinations implies the university’s acknowledgment that any incentives or increased awareness of the importance of vaccination will not work, although this is the mainstay for universities that have not imposed the vaccine locally and globally. On the other hand, it is possible that the university environment, with its relative isolation, constitutes a sufficient incentive to conduct studies on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines for this age group in Lebanon, especially with the availability of health data for students.

In conclusion, perhaps the availability of vaccines alone would have obviated the need to require it, to convince most Lebanese, including American students, of the need to take it to protect themselves and facilitate travel procedures. As for the decision to compel, it raises questions between the university as a health reference and its students.

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