Heritage University To Require Vaccinations To return
It's just the goofy way I think when I first heard the news from Heritage University. I am reminded of the Alabama song and lyrics, "If you're gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band". Extrapolate and recontextualize the concept of "if you want to do this, you must first do that" and you get - If you're gonna go to college at Heritage, you better have a vaccine card in your hand.
University President Andrew Sund, Ph.D. has announced that all students, faculty and staff will be required to be vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus before returning to campus for the fall 2021 semester.
What goes into that kind of decision? Sund says, a lot of thought, research, and analysis. "This decision follows vaccination recommendations by the Yakima County Health District, the State of Washington, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)....Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that vaccines are effective and safe, and failure to require vaccinations would legally and ethically constitute a direct threat to the safety of staff, faculty, and students."
Is it me or do the words "direct threat" seem, well, threatening? While Heritage is extremely serious about the decision it isn't iron clad for everyone. Exceptions will be made for people who have medical conditions, religious beliefs, or extenuating circumstances that prevent them from being vaccinated.
While members of the Yakima County Commission, Health Board and Business Community push for a relaxation for mask mandates and the full opening of the State, Heritage officials say they will hold the line and continue to require mask-wearing inside buildings, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning on campus this fall.
Not coincidently, Heritage University will host a vaccination clinic open to students, employees and any family members that are 12 years or older living in the same household on Friday, July 9, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC) will be providing the Pfizer and Janssen COVID-19 vaccines in the Martha B. Yallup Health Sciences Building at Heritage.