Should colleges and universities mandate COVID-19 vaccines?

By News@TheU

Should colleges and universities mandate COVID-19 vaccines?

By News@TheU
The University of Miami will convene a national conversation on Wednesday, March 17, to address whether the inoculations must be compulsory and to discuss other related ethical considerations.

As the COVID-19 vaccines, now authorized for emergency use, seek final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over the next few months, universities, colleges, health centers, and employers everywhere will likely grapple with the same questions: Should they mandate vaccinations? And if so, for who and how?

In an effort to inform the discussions on campuses and at academic health centers, the University of Miami will convene a national conversation on Wednesday, March 17, with a panel of renowned experts in public health, infectious diseases, and medical ethics who will address these and related concerns.

Open to the University of Miami community, higher education leaders, and the general public, the hour-long virtual conversation will begin at 6:30 p.m. with remarks from University of Miami President Julio Frenk, the former minister of health of Mexico and former dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It will close with remarks from Dr. Henri R. Ford, dean and chief academic officer for the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who chairs the American College of Surgeons Committee on Ethics. 

Dr. Roy E. Weiss, the University’s chief medical officer for COVID-19 and chair of the Department of Medicine at the Miller School, will moderate the discussion, which will be followed by a live Q&A session.

“This is a controversial topic, but once vaccines get full FDA approval we have to come to grips with a new reality,” Weiss said. “Do we make them mandatory? If so, for who? Just health care workers? The people who deal with students? Everybody? Would religious objections to mandatory vaccines override the good of society that says to get it? And what kind of response would we have for those who don’t comply?” 

Panelists for the discussion include Dr. Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean and distinguished professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine; Kenneth W. Goodman, founder and director of the Miller School’s Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, and director of the University’s Ethics Programs; and Dr. Lainie Friedman Ross, the Carolyn and Matthew Bucksbaum Professor of Clinical Ethics and associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago.

Register now for “A National Conversation: Should COVID-19 Vaccines be Mandatory on College Campuses?”