COVID-19 Vaccine Policies at Historical Black Colleges and Universities

The phenomenon of racial segregation, although implicit, still exists in the context of American society. The issue is especially evident in the health care paradigm, as many African Americans nowadays experience a lack of medical support and tend to lose their trust. The students at Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are now faced with the dilemma of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. On the one hand, vaccination may be a beneficial tool in terms of combating pandemics, whereas, on the other hand, students may remain reluctant to vaccinate after racial biases are employed against them during the pandemic.

The current discussion of vaccination has become challenging and controversial for all the population layers. Yet, minorities have a full-scale right to feel the least certain about vaccination, as they are significantly underrepresented in vaccine trials. For this reason, students at HBCUs face various challenges regarding vaccination.

Undeniably, the issue of mandatory vaccination among HBCU students reflects a more serious social issue of racial discrimination and inequality regarding the social status and access to health care. For this reason, it is necessary to look at the situation’s implications for the public, non-profit, private, and community sectors.

Having considered the implications, it would be reasonable to assume that the notion of mandatory vaccination at HBCUs is highly dependent on public participation in the endeavor. Thus, when promoting extensive research and representation during trials, HBCU students and local authorities may be willing to get vaccinated to set an example for the rest of the Black community.

Before implementation, mandatory vaccination should be explicitly justified regarding its appropriateness and safety for the African American community. Along with the research, public bodies should promote education within the community. In such a way, people would make a choice to the vaccine based not on either availability or absence of vaccine but on their background knowledge.

Having taken the phenomenon of mandatory vaccination among HBCUs into consideration, it may be concluded that the current context of a pandemic should place more emphasis on education rather than on active vaccination promotion. Unquestionably, rapid vaccination may lead to better outcomes in the future, but calling for actions without providing sufficient information first may be rightfully considered unethical.

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