Chickenshit universities still oppose a vaccine mandate

It’s ridiculous. The solution is so obvious and clear: require that all faculty, staff, and students at a university be vaccinated. You can get the vaccine for free — here in Minnesota, they now pay you $100 to get vaccinated. So fucking do it already. It’s for the kids.

The number of kids contracting the coronavirus is rising. In the week that ended with July 29, more than 70,000 children got COVID-19, representing nearly a fifth of all cases. Though a vanishingly small number of kids have died of the disease—358 since the start of the pandemic, as of July 29—some states, like Florida, now have dozens of children hospitalized. Few parents want to hear that their little ones may get COVID-19, no matter how low their odds of death.

The problem, of course, is that kids under 12 can’t be vaccinated yet. Until they can be, the best way to protect them is simple: Vaccinate all the eligible adults and teens around them. “The single most important thing parents can do is to get vaccinated and to vaccinate all their kids who are 12 and older,” Yvonne Maldonado, an epidemiologist and pediatric infectious-disease professor at Stanford Medical School, told me.

Kids spend the majority of their time around adults, and existing contact-tracing data suggest that adults are the ones getting kids sick. “There is with Delta, we think, a reasonably high household attack rate, meaning that one person in the household gets sick and other people are at risk of getting sick,” says Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.

Look at the stats.

The public schools here haven’t opened yet. But next week there will be an influx of adults for the county fair (I guarantee that very few will be masked, and a large number will be unvaccinated), and a few weeks after that we’re going to be bringing in young adults from all over the region to attend the university, and then we add kids from all over the county coming in to mingle at the public school. The proper microbiological analogy for this is not a petri dish — it’s a great big flask of growth medium, constantly stirred and agitated.

That steep surge in under 17 infections is not going to plateau or even slow, given these conditions. The least the university could do is get as many adults vaccinated as possible. To do otherwise is insane. Criminally insane. I’ve lost any possibility of trusting my employers ever again.

I get to visit my grandkids one last time this summer before I get thrown into the churning flask that is Stevens County, Minnesota, and then I think I’m going to have to quarantine myself from all children for a while.


  1. fishy says

    I’ve been carrying my vaccine card with me since March. Nobody asks for the damn thing. I think I’m going to have it laminated and put on a chain I can wear around my neck. Ya know, to own the cons.

  2. blf says

    (This is a reconstructed partial cross-post from poopyhead’s current Infinite [Pandemic and Politics All the Time] Thread, with some added emboldening.)

    Fauci Backs Vaccination Mandates for Businesses, Universities:

    Businesses and colleges should consider requiring people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in light of the surge of US cases driven by the delta variant, Anthony Fauci said Friday [August 6th].

    The chief medical adviser to US President Joe Biden said he opposed a federal vaccine mandate but that the velocity of Covid’s spread should spur private organizations to think about requiring shots.

    “I would encourage private enterprises to seriously consider the idea of mandating vaccination in the enterprise for which they are responsible, whether that’s a university or a place of business,” Fauci said in an interview with Bloomberg Quicktake.


    “We need to do whatever we can,” he said. “I know people don’t like mandates for them to do things that they feel encroach upon their individual liberty. But in fact, when you are in a public health crisis, sometimes you’ve got to look out for the good of the community as well as your own personal libertarian views.”

    Not only is the step (mandated vaccination) obvious, it’s being publicly recommended by undisputed experts.

  3. blf says

    fishy@1, Here in France, starting tomorrow (Monday 9th August), a Health Pass (paper or app) showing you are either fully-vaccinated or recently tested negative, etc., MUST be shown to visit (both indoors & outdoors) a restaurant, bar, or café; ride a long-distance train; and so on. Whilst there have been some protests — by the nazis (e.g., Le Pen’s mob), loonytarians, anti-vaxxers, some very confused “far left”, and some of the anti-Macron “yellow vest” rioters — the demonstrations are a nothing by French standards (despite the implications in some press reports). And polls consistently show a majority in favour of the measures. (The targeting of cafés, etc., was quite clever, as they are very much a part of French life.)

    President Macron was very clear and explicit when the measures were announced a few weeks ago, it was to encourage people to get (fully-)vaccinated. At that time, only around 40% were (fully?-)vaccinated and the vaccination rate was in free-fall; in the week after the announcement somewhere around 4m people made vaccination appointments and the current fully-vaccinated rate is around 60%. (Other measures were also announced, such as mandatory vaccination for certain health-care workers.)

    In addition, as I just discovered, the app’s statistics section is now giving at least two new stats: Positive rate for teh unvaccinated, and for the vaccinated (both per 100,000 people): Currently 960 and 35, respectively. And also ICU rate for unvaccinated and vaccinated (per 1m people): Currently over 9 and less than 1, respectively. (No breakdown by age in the app’s presentation, as far as I know.)

  4. blf says

    An OP-related opinion column in the Grauniad, America shouldn’t be sending unvaccinated kids back to school:

    On a population-adjusted basis, the weekly average of US children admitted to hospitals with Covid-19 is rising faster than any other age group


    Given everything we know about the Delta variant and long Covid in children, it is immoral to send unvaccinated kids, teachers, and staff into classrooms. The Delta variant dramatically increases the risk of long-term disability or death for everyone, but especially for the 73 million children living in America. We need to adjust our back-to-school plans immediately.

    […] As of Wednesday, one in 10 Covid-19 test results for US children five to 11 years are positive, and the week-over-week rise in test positivity is climbing fastest for this age group. Covid-19 test positivity among US children 12–17 (12.3%) is higher than for any other age group.

    A published report of Scottish data noted that the Delta variant doubles the risk of Covid-19 hospitalization, regardless of age. The number of US children in the hospital due to Covid-19 doubled between 30 June and 31 July. […]


    We know what we have to do. Financial services, media, and technology companies are postponing their return-to-office plans. Several states are mandating indoor masking. New York City will require proof of vaccination for indoor dining, and other major cities are poised to follow suit. Employers are stepping up their efforts to vaccinate employees; and some are even mandating Covid-19 vaccinations. We know better than to send unvaccinated and/or unmasked persons into enclosed spaces. We should extend that logic to children and the spaces they inhabit as well.

    We have strong data to support a set of federal minimum standards for schools. At a bare minimum, every classroom needs to have proper ventilation and every person that sets foot on a school campus must be masked at all times. For their own safety, and the safety of children, all faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated. […]

  5. Bruce says

    It’s now very hard to take seriously any science degree awarded by any branch of a university that does not require vaccinations.
    If I were your colleague there, I would be tempted to enter the first day of each class wearing only sandals, a Speedo, and a couple of masks. I would tell the students that we are here to focus on the essentials. I would also stress that those who understand science are vaccinated, and that grading is based on demonstrated understanding of science. Then show everyone where the closest vaccination site is. Then say: that’s it for the day – we have covered the top essentials. Next time, I will see those of you who survive. Any day I see anyone without a mask, that day’s class will end, and you will have to learn the info for the test from our book. Bye.

  6. whheydt says

    Re: fishy @ #1…
    Don’t laminate it. You may need it a condition for additions if booster shots come to pass.

    Find a 3×4 vinyl name badge holder (aka “pin back”). Remove the pin. Put your card in it. That will protect your card and still make it accessible for updating.

  7. whheydt says

    I live in an extended household. Me, my wife, our daughter and son-in-law. Their 13-year-old son. All FIVE of us are fully vaccinated. The last one to complete the series was our grandson and his second shot was on 17 June. (He was, by the way, quite enthusiastic when told he was eligible. No vaccine “hesitation” here.)

    So…we’ve done our bit to help.

  8. raven says

    Xpost from the infinite thread

    Florida’s disaster is now at 23,000 cases of Covid-19 and 200 deaths per day. A record.
    So how bad will it get and when will it end? Who knows.

    The mathematical models say the daily case total will be 41,000 a day in early September. It’s going to be a long and dismal August for Florida.
    They are likely to go way over their hospital capacity, which means patients aren’t going to be receiving the best care available. August 07, 2021

    41K daily: Models project Florida’s number of COVID-19 cases at the peak of this 4th surge
    Mathematical modelers forecasting the trajectory of Florida’s surge predict the highest number of single day totals to hit early September.

    TAMPA, Fla — As Florida hits new pandemic highs, mathematical modelers forecasting the trajectory of Florida’s surge predict the highest number of single day totals to hit early September.

    “All the indicators are pointing for this to be the largest wave of infection that we’ve ever seen,” Dr. Tom Unnasch with USF Public Health said.

    The public health expert has been monitoring the models since the beginning of the pandemic. The newest models show the peak of the next surge will be two to four times bigger than the wave seen in January 2021.

    “I’m getting really, really concerned at this point, not just from these numbers, but from the numbers I’m seeing in hospitalizations. We’re going to be facing this situation where we could really overwhelm our hospital system and our health care system in the coming three weeks or so,” Unnasch said.

    After reporting a record 22,783 cases on Friday, the state’s infection rate stands at 18.9 percent. According to the CDC, an infection rate under 5 percent would show the state has flattened the curve and has control of the virus.

  9. blf says

    Related to @5, a snippet from Fears as more children falling ill in latest US Covid surge and school approaches:

    The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, went further [than NIH director Francis Collins who only(?(!)) called for mask-wearing], calling for vaccine mandates for teachers. “As a matter of personal conscience, I think that we need to be working with our employers, not opposing them, on vaccine mandates,” she told NBC’s Meet The Press.

    Weingarten’s comments are an advance on the union’s earlier position in which it maintained teachers should be prioritized for the vaccines but stopped short of supporting a mandate. That shift was previewed last week when Weingarten said she would consider supporting vaccine mandates to keep students and staff safe and schools open.

    Dr Anthony Fauci […] also echoed Weingarten’s comments Sunday, saying the best way to protect children from the virus is to “surround them with those who can be vaccinated, whoever they are. Teachers, personnel in the school, anyone, get them vaccinated.”

    Dr Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, also weighed in on the concerns, saying that schools are not “inherently safe” from the Delta variant and that society “can’t expect the same outcome that we saw earlier with respect to the schools where we were largely able to control large outbreaks in the schools with a different set of behaviors.”

  10. raven says

    So when will this fourth wave of the pandemic peak?
    The models say in early September and the peak will be as large or larger than the previous one, which was just a few months ago.

    Well models, I suppose we will just have to wait and see how accurate this one is.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if it was later than that or there is a high plateau.
    The children will be going back to school and the college students back to their universities in September. Plus, the weather will be cooling down and people will be spending more time indoors as Fall and Winter approach.
    Add that in with the highly contagious Delta variant, low vaccine coverage, and you have a path for a new wave of the pandemic.

    So when will this pandemic finally be over with?
    I’m not seeing an end here.
    A few scientists are starting to wonder if it will ever really be over with. Or it may take years to be over with.
    5.9 billion of the world’s population still aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19 virus. That is a huge petri dish for spawning new and better adapted variants. We are up to lambda already. It is likely we are going to eventually run out of Greek alphabet letters.

  11. acroyear says

    One curse is that we, the reasonable and vaccinated, can’t protect the unvaccinated as much anymore, given Delta. We were relying on our own status to protect the kids, and now much as 30% (perhaps even 60%) of the population are denying it, that just isn’t true any more. Yeah the odds are greatly reduced, but they’re still too high. If we go out, we can take it home, no matter how much we ourselves are protected.

  12. says

    Death isn’t the only issue. There was a study that suggested that covid lowers the IQ of children, or whatever way you want to measure intelligence.
    That should also matter.

  13. blf says

    An opinion column in the Las Cruces Sun News (New Mexico), New Mexico universities right to require vaccines:

    I applaud our state’s colleges and universities for doing the right thing and taking precautionary steps to ensure the health and safety of their students, faculty, and staff in the coming school year. The COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are safe and effective at keeping you from developing severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. And they are our most important tool for slowing the spread of the virus in our communities and finally putting an end to the pandemic.

    The universities’ policies are in alignment with a growing consensus among government agencies and the private sector that requiring vaccinations is the only way to ensure the health and safety of everyone. President Biden recently announced that all civilian federal employees must be vaccinated against the coronavirus or comply with regular testing, social distancing, masking requirements and restrictions on most travel. State employees in New Mexico and many workers at major businesses such as Google, Facebook, and Walmart are also required to be fully vaccinated.


    I am also urging our universities to hold vaccination clinics on their campuses, and to work with trusted messengers, including campus health providers to provide students, staff, and faculty with all the information they need to make an informed decision about being vaccinated. […]


    Unfortunately, our state’s sole Republican member of Congress has chosen to join with her anti-vaccine and conspiracy theorist colleague, Marjorie Taylor Greene, to introduce dangerous legislation, the We Will Not Comply Act, which would defund colleges, universities, and schools that require vaccinations for their campus communities. It should go without saying that the message this sends is extremely irresponsible. Defunding our universities is not a solution to anything.


    The author is US Senator Martin Heinrich, and the column goes on at great length about congressloon Yvette Herrell’s antics; e.g., “she signed onto a truly wild letter to Dr Anthony Fauci calling on him to promote natural immunity and the use of drugs that are totally unproven in fighting COVID-19 like Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin”.

  14. blf says

    markmckee@14, I presume you’re referring to Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19 (July 22nd, The Lancet, not paywalled):

    People who had recovered from COVID-19, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits versus controls when controlling for age, gender, education level, income, racial-ethnic group, pre-existing medical disorders, tiredness, depression and anxiety. The deficits were of substantial effect size for people who had been hospitalised […], but also for non-hospitalised cases who had biological confirmation of COVID-19 infection […]. Analysing markers of premorbid intelligence did not support these differences being present prior to infection. Finer grained analysis of performance across sub-tests supported the hypothesis that COVID-19 has a multi-domain impact on human cognition.

  15. says

    @#14, markmckee:

    We couldn’t fix the lead in the drinking water in Flint, which has the same effect, and everybody agreed on the cause and that the effect was undesirable. Why would we be able to do anything about coronavirus?

    (In case anybody is unaware: no, Flint’s water still isn’t fixed. The pipe replacement project was supposed to be done by 2019, which would have meant that fixing the water supply would have taken 5 years, but work fell massively behind, and then stopped because of the epidemic. Only some of the corroded lead pipes have been replaced, and blood lead levels are still noticeably high among residents. The government has been telling residents that they should be paying utility bills for the water even though there is a moratorium on using it which is entirely the state’s fault. But the whole thing has dropped out of the news regardless.)

    But on another heading, apparently roughly 10% of symptomatic Covid-19 infections have permanent health effects other than lowered IQ, so this is just par for the course.

  16. kaleberg says

    Why am I imagining a web site selling Chickenshit University sweatshirts with a stylized coronavirus in the center of the artwork?

  17. lumipuna says

    fishy wrote:

    I’ve been carrying my vaccine card with me since March. Nobody asks for the damn thing. I think I’m going to have it laminated and put on a chain I can wear around my neck. Ya know, to own the cons.

    Funny thing, antivaxxers complain it’s like being forced to wear a yellow star 24/7 if there’s a remote chance they might be asked for a vaccine certificate on some occasions. Some of them even wear an actual yellow star (at least some of the time) in protest, which makes sense, because otherwise almost nobody would notice the humiliating social stigma they’ve been burdened with …

  18. birgerjohansson says

    The obsession with guns means kids in some places must endure metal detectors. And do drills about what to do in a spree shooter situation.
    Adults think it is awful to have to wear masks inside stores, or having to take a vaccine shot to get access to some activities. Fuck those big snowflakes.

  19. raven says

    And do drills about what to do in a spree shooter situation.

    That is actually a thing. It’s 95% of US public schools.

    Active shooter drills are meant to prepare students. But … › news › us-news › active-sh…

    Sep 3, 2020 — The portion of public schools conducting these drills grew from 40 percent in 2007 to 95 percent by 2017, as most states now require them. They’ …

    When I was a kid in school, we had duck and cover drills. This was so we could survive an atomic bomb attack. Then we were supposed to go home and wait for our parents while gathering survival supplies for the evacuation. There was no discussion of what we would do if our parents were vaporized by the nuclear attack.

  20. DanDare says

    Long covid is a thing and hits 1/3 of those hospitalised with delta. I’m not sure how that varies by age group.