El Camino students and staff give thoughts on Jan. 3 vaccine mandate

El Camino College expects all students, faculty and employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to upload their vaccine records by Jan. 3, 2022.

In September, the ECC Board of Trustees decided that uploading vaccination proof would be the most effective method of minimizing COVID-19 outbreaks.

All individuals must have a World Back to Work account to upload proof of vaccination. On the profile page, there will be a button that reads ‘Enter Vaccination Data’ which will enable students and faculty to take a picture or upload their vaccination cards, which will then be admitted as proof to El Camino College.

Jalea Corley, a 34-year-old ECC student who works as a Peer Guide with Guided Pathways, is fully vaccinated and recently received her booster shot.

Corley thinks vaccination mandates and proof for the campus are necessary. Corley views the mandate as a chance to get back to a sense of normalcy and safely connect with people again.

“As far as the vaccination goes, it’s okay to be publicized for status conformation, but everything else should remain private and at the patient’s discretion”, Corley said.

Lisset Ramirez, a 21-year-old ECC student who also works with Guided Pathways, had a hard time adjusting between online classes when the pandemic hit.

“I was attending classes on campus then all of a sudden classes transitioned online,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez is fully vaccinated and encourages fellow students at ECC to get vaccinated and upload their proof of vaccination.

“I heard that vaccination cards have their own serial number so we can figure out if they’re false or not. It protects them and other students,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez said that one of the misconception from the pandemic is the thought of not getting COVID after getting the vaccine.

“The vaccine does reduce your body to the virus so if you spread it or the person around you gets it, it won’t be as bad as it would without the vaccine,” Ramirez said. “Not only does the vaccine protect the students but it will protect other people around them.”

Faculty Coordinator of Student Health Services Susan Nilles said it is important for students to get vaccinated in order to attend classes on campus next semester. In addition, she says that students and faculty should get the booster shot.

“The Health Center has booster shots available and we will have drive-through vaccinations in collaboration with the Warrior Pantry on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. [after the holidays],” Nilles said.

During an ECC Town Hall meeting on Dec. 17, ECC President and Superintendent Brenda Thames said she is doing her best to meet the needs of students and maximize resource opportunities.

“Things change daily and we’re going to have to continue with the change,” Thames said.

In discussing issues regarding health and safety on campus next semester, Thames said it is important to be adaptable.

“I’m trying to give us the flexibility to do what we need to do to meet the needs of students, the institution, operational efficiency and effectiveness,” Thames said.