After Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services declared that anyone ages 16 and older could receive the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, April 5, #VaxUpMarquette was created. #VaxUpMarquette is a campaign from the university meant to encourage Marquette students to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Kevin Conway, associate director of university communication said, “Marquette is encouraging students, faculty and staff to get the vaccine now that anyone age 16 and older in Wisconsin is eligible. We are running a #VaxUpMarquette campaign with signage around campus. We have a vaccination clinic on campus and we are sharing information about vaccination sites near campus.”
According to the Center for Disease Control, becoming vaccinated against COVID-19 is a crucial part of stopping the pandemic and creating protection.
“While more COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. Safety is a top priority, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated,” according to a statement from the CDC. Some of these reasons include preventing you from getting COVID-19, building protection against the virus, ending the pandemic and being able to gather with others who are fully vaccinated without a mask.
The Marquette Medical Clinic is also encouraging students to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
“Vaccination is one of the key strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Vaccination across populations decreases transmission, hospitalization and death rates, as well as further mutations of the virus. The goal is to reach herd immunity”said Keli Wolmer, executive director of the Marquette Medical Clinic in an email.
Wolmer also said that in order to achieve herd immunity, predictions articulate that 75-85% of the population would need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Wollmer also said that it is still important that vaccinated individuals continue wearing masks, practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings and get tested if symptomatic. She said that although the vaccines are not 100% effective, they are still one of the best defenses against COVID-19.
While many in the Marquette community are advocating for students to get the vaccine, there are still some that are hesitant or against the shot. Alex DeSimone, a first-year in the College of Arts & Sciences, said that he will not receive the COVID-19 vaccine because of the use of stem cells in its development.
According to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the COVID-19 vaccine does not consist of any aborted fetal cells, but both Pfizer and Moderna conducted confirmation tests utilizing fetal cell lines. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine however does use fetal cells in their vaccine development, confirmation and production processes.
Although the Johnson & Johnson vaccine does use fetal cell structures to produce their vaccine, Moderna and Pfizer do not, and were named ethically uncontroversial by the pro-life policy organization the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Moderna and Pfizer both use mRNA technology and require two doses of the vaccine, while Johnson & Johnson uses a disabled adenovirus and only takes one shot for full effect according to the Virginia Commonwealth University Health Center.
“I don’t think that the COVID(-19) vaccine is necessary for the world to function, but I’m not here to bash people for getting it. Marquette would be fine whether they require the vaccine or not, but I think the ultimate importance of the university’s decision is that they are setting a precedent that could be dangerous,” said DeSimone.
Those interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine can go to the City of Milwaukee Health Department website to find a vaccination center available to them. The COVID-19 vaccine is free, and those ages 16 and 17 need parental consent to get the vaccine.
This story was written by Julia Abuzzahab. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org