Letter: Flu vaccines should not be forced on campus
Wayne State has decided to make the flu shot mandatory for all community members. The goal is to counteract the "twindemic" of COVID-19 and influenza by eliminating the latter altogether. The sole exceptions are for students who can produce a doctor's note or religious exemption.
So what happens if a community member refuses? He or she will not be allowed on campus.
How will they know people are not vaccinated? Every time community members enter a building they have to fill out a "daily screener." Unless the proof of the shot or an exemption has been uploaded to their patient portal, they will be rejected from entering campus.
I have received the flu shot and it may be advisable for you to get one, too. I have no problem with the government making the shot widely available. If the state, acting through the university, wished to spend millions of taxpayer money to barrage broadcast and social media with a call to get the flu shot, I would not object.
It is the mandating of it that I strongly object to.
To be extra clear the issue here is not Wayne State nor the flu vaccine. The university can be forgiven for wanting to do the utmost to protect the health and well-being of students in the midst of a pandemic, and the flu shot will reduce the rate of influenza.
The issue is that the coronavirus pandemic is being used as a pretense to put in place invasive "test and trace" surveillance capabilities that, I contend, will not leave us when the coronavirus does. Furthermore, the flu vaccine is, I believe, being unknowingly used as a pretext to numb our senses to various entities mandating the coronavirus vaccine in order to be a part of that community. It is this governmental overreach, for which many have warned us, that troubles me.
So why struggle? The university never bothered asking what students think. In fact, it announced the mandate after classes started.
The only way we can combat this is by being active.
So what to do? The answer is whatever you can. Please urge all elected officials and members of the media to make this issue a priority.
Dan Smith, graduate student
Wayne State University