Montclair State University’s students are reacting to the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines as doses have become more accessible to the U.S population.
Some students are still expressing concerns while others are feeling confident in taking the vaccine.
Valentin Villaluz, a junior television and digital media major, expressed how he felt when the vaccine was first released.
“Initially I was very uncomfortable with the idea of taking the vaccine,” Villaluz said. “I wanted to wait until millions of people had taken it before I would and it’s because of how fast it came out — it’s scary. But I have finally decided within myself that I want to get the vaccine and hopefully, that can happen soon.”
For some students, seeing other people get vaccinated served as motivation for them, making them feel comfortable with their decision to get vaccinated too.
Emily Ouellette, a senior television and digital media major, shared what had ultimately convinced her get the vaccine.
“I was hesitant at first because it was quick, but I just registered this Monday and I got the first dose,” Ouellette said. “I felt safe. I knew that I was going to be surrounded by medical professionals who knew exactly what to do in the moment. Also, I’ve seen other civilians in this country have good reactions [to it].”
Despite the large number of people vaccinated in the country, students still plan on doing their own research on the vaccine to obtain more details before reaching a conclusion.
Alfredo Dominguez, a junior television and digital media major, also expressed his thoughts on the vaccine, in addition to how he has been receiving valuable information from scientists.
“At first I was very hesitant and had a lot of concerns,” Dominguez said. “But when [Dr.] Anthony Fauci explained how everything was developing with the vaccine and how effective it was and how advanced we are in science, I got more at ease with my concerns, but I want to do more research before making a final decision.”
The university has not made the vaccine a requirement for the upcoming semester, but there is a possibility this could change as vaccines become more available.
Dr. Karen Pennington, vice president for student development and campus life, said that at the moment the administration does not have a final decision.
“We are discussing it but have not made a final decision as of yet,” Pennington said. “Some of it will be determined by the availability of vaccines across the state and nation as well as the regulations in place by the local, state and federal governments. We just have to wait a little longer.”
Charles Fatolico, a freshman television and digital media major, shared his opinion on the possibility of vaccines becoming mandatory at the university.
“If it’s hard to get the vaccine, to the point where students can’t get it because it is not available, then it would be ridiculous to make it a requirement,” Fatolico said.
The university encourages the Montclair State community to receive the vaccine as soon as they get the opportunity.
“The only way through this is for everyone to be protected,” Pennington said. “Unlike other viruses, the fact that this is spread oftentimes by people who are asymptomatic, the only assurance we have is through vaccination.”
Further updates regarding the vaccine will follow.