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University at Buffalo mandating students be fully vaccinated within five weeks

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Posted at 6:35 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 18:37:27-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — University at Buffalo students have less than five weeks to get fully vaccinated.

Students who do not follow UB's mandate will not be allowed to attend in-person classes.

So far, the university reports that 90% of students are fully vaccinated, which is 27,140 of its more than 30,000 students, according to UB officials.

T-minus six days until the UB Bulls are back in the classroom.

Students like UB junior, Will Eaton, said students had ample time to get vaccinated, and given the rise of the delta variant, the shot should be on radar.

"Personally, I believe it should be a requirement at least to attend in-person events and classes like that at UB. The science has been proven and I personally feel that it's a much better alternative than catching the virus or any variants," Eaton said. "I have been vaccinated. Yes. I signed up the first opportunity I got."

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UB senior, Rosemary Guzman, had COVID-19 in March and June of 2020. She said students should not fear the vaccine.

People are scared about the side effects and things like that, but if you think about it, the pills that you take for your health and things like that always have side effects." Guzman said, "I think it is a necessity, especially for a person who had COVID twice. I feel like, if you want to go back to a sense of normality, I guess it's fine to get the vaccine shot.

Since the university's announcement several people have shared their concerns about the mandate, on UB's Twitter:

One person commented, "I hope you guys know it doesn't stop people from getting and spreading COVID and that you are risking students health by not requiring testing or mask outdoors."Another person wrote, "Will UB be responsible for adverse reactions like myocarditis/pericarditis?"

However, students who spoke with 7 Eyewitness News on campus remained adamant about the requirement.

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UB senior Niki Soto said, "I feel as if the vaccine-- people are making like-- they're too worried about it and then there's all these rumors about how the vaccine is doing bodily harm, but the vaccine is literally a booster to help your immune system fight COVID, and then everybody is so concerned but they don't know the facts yet. You can choose to have online courses and stay at your house, but if you want to be on campus, I think it's necessary to be vaccinated."

Soto cited the University at Buffalo is the biggest SUNY school in the state, topping 30,000 students, therefore, students should understand how easy it is to spread the virus.

"As you can see, in places like that we conglomerate," Soto said. "In classes, a lot of people had difficulties concentrating in online courses and in order to be in-person, you have to make a sacrifice."

Zanyah Agard, also a UB senior, said any student who is still skeptical of getting the vaccine should do their research and ask questions.

"I feel as if the vaccine-- people are making like-- they're too worried about it and then there's all these rumors about how the vaccine is doing bodily harm, but the vaccine is literally a booster to help your immune system fight COVID, and then everybody is so concerned but they don't know the facts yet," Agard said.

She compared the virus to the flu shot, as it too, has various strains.

Agard said, "If you're going to want to continue with concerts, you can't go out unvaccinated risking COVID. Now, we have a new strand of Delta, so it's like 'Oh well, people are still getting COVID when they have the vaccine', but it's a new strand. It's like the flu shot."

Classes start Monday, August 30.

While UB students are required to get vaccinated, according to the university's website, professors are strongly urged to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by Labor Day. State employees who do not get vaccinated will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis.

On Thursday, August 26, the university will hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. sharing the details of the policy. The vice provost and Dr. Thomas Russo will be in attendance, to answer questions.