Requiring vaccinations for admission to De Anza College would discriminate against financially disadvantaged students and those with adverse reactions to vaccines.
According to a 2017 U.S. census estimate, 12.3% of American people live in poverty, totaling nearly 40 million individuals. In order to climb the ladder out of poverty, many seek to attend college.
But to obtain a higher degree, they face a myriad of challenges.
Even when scholarships are available, not all eligible students can earn them. In 2015, only 47% of the 4003 community college California Dream Act Cal Grants were awarded, according to an EdSource article. Many students forgo this opportunity due to bureaucratic hurdles.
Requiring vaccination would add yet another layer of obstacle.
Without the immediate coverage that health insurance provides, the costs of vaccinations can be very pricey. Walgreens offers vaccinations for HPV at $250 for a first dose and $215 for second and third doses.
Schools that require vaccination for enrollment, such as CSU, typically call for at least six immunizations. Fulfilling this mandate would cost a student well over $1,000 without insurance.
According to a 2017 U.S. census estimate, about 12% of non-elderly people in the country live without health insurance. De Anza Health Services offers cheaper vaccinations, but only to the aid of currently enrolled students and not to the general public, according to their website.
This means that many aspiring students cannot afford to get vaccinated, resulting in a decline in people that can tangibly afford college and escape poor living conditions.
Another group of students that this rule would harm are those who may have adverse reactions to vaccines. Although California allows medical exemptions for vaccination, families with limited healthcare access may find it difficult to obtain a physician’s note.
With that in mind, colleges may violate the constitutional right of freedom of speech by requiring students to be vaccinated for admittance to college.
De Anza students today come from very different walks of life. Requiring vaccinations would take away the rights of many to attend our school and leave it open only to those who can afford the vaccinations and do not face negative health repercussions.