Students, faculty and staff returning to campus should be vaccinated to ensure safe learning environment for all


With COVID-19 vaccinations in California now available for everyone ages 16 and up, and Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement for a projected state reopening by June 15, The Union’s Editorial Board believes strongly that having an inoculated student body, faculty, staff and administration is both preferable and necessary as the college moves forward with placing measures for in-person classes.

While accessibility to COVID-19 vaccines can be a problem, it should not be a hindrance towards achieving a safe campus environment after the fall 2021 semester, which at its center thrives upon a healthy student population.

Students in particular are urged by the board to receive vaccinations and be completely inoculated before returning to campus. As some vaccinated faculty members encourage students to do the same, the board believes students should do their part in ensuring their instructors are safe in the classroom by returning the courtesy of being vaccinated. 

Mental health, grades, retention rates, focus and engagement have all been critically impacted by both the pandemic and distance education. And while efforts from professors and college officials to aid in softening the blow of these is appreciated and greatly welcomed by the Editorial Board, it has become clear that a full return to a safe campus is what students truly crave.

This, of course, cannot be achieved if a significant portion of the on-campus employees and student body are not fully vaccinated upon a return to in-person classes.

There are several sites available for anyone to begin looking for and booking appointments such as CarbonHealth, MyTurn, and VaccinateLaCounty. ECC also has a vaccination site on campus which the Editorial Board and Student Health Services hope will one day serve to inoculate students as well.

Insurance is not necessary in order to receive a vaccine nor does it cost any money. The Editorial Board understands equity concerns when it comes to time and availability, but we highly recommend putting time aside to get the vaccine as it’s better to have some level of immunity opposed to none at all.

We also remind ECC students that being young does not grant immunity from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 22.4% of COVID-19 cases recorded in the U.S. are of people between the ages of 18 and 29.

The long term effects of COVID-19 for people in this age group are unknown, but some reported observations include shortness of breath, fatigue, depression and a loss of smell and taste.

The American Journal of Hematology also published a study finding an increased risk of blood clotting, which can be fatal, for people who’ve experienced COVID-19.

In order to aid college officials towards a safe and swift reopening, the Editorial Board urges all campus community members to do their part by getting vaccinated before returning to campus as everyone deserves to be safe.