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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Flu, COVID-19 vaccines no longer required at​ Tulane

Tulane University Campus Health is offering free flu vaccines to students and staff. Appointments are encouraged, but not required. (Ellie Cowen)

This year, Tulane University Campus Health no longer requires the COVID-19 and influenza vaccines, but they are “strongly encouraged,” according to the Campus Health website. 

Caesar C. Ross III, Tulane’s assistant vice president for Campus Health and Wellness, said the new regulations are in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Louisiana Department of Health. 

“Our policies and practices are in the best public health interests of the university,” Ross said. 

These new regulations have led to confusion among some members of the student body. 

“Now that they’re not required, I think there’s really no incentive to get them if you’re not high risk,” Hadley Brown, a freshman studying public health, said. “I have a feeling that immunizations will most likely go down.”

Despite these concerns, Ross said that he does not believe the new rules will have a large effect on vaccination rates throughout campus.

“We tend to vaccinate two to three thousand students a year, which is huge compared to other institutions where I’ve worked,” Ross said. (Ellie Cowen)

“We tend to vaccinate two to three thousand students a year, which is huge compared to other institutions where I’ve worked,” Ross said. “So I appreciate being on a campus where students are not only concerned about their own personal health and safety but also the health and safety of their classmates.”

Ross said he understands that the decision to get vaccinated is based on individual preference, but strongly urges everybody to protect themselves.

“Get vaccinated, get vaccinated, get vaccinated.” Ross said. “Yes, it’s a personal choice. I want students to make choices that are in their best interest, but I also want students to be mindful of the well being of other students.”

Presley Houck, an immunocompromised student, said she does not have any major concerns regarding the decision.

“I don’t feel less safe, we’re always around people that don’t get the flu vaccine,” Houck said. “People can do whatever they want. I think the fact that it is strongly recommended is good. Just like it is everywhere else.”

Campus Health has a little over two thousand influenza vaccines, of which roughly five hundred have already been administered, as of Sept. 29. Appointments to get the flu vaccine are not required, however the health center prefers appointments to walk-ins.

“Simply walk up, share with the Campus Health and Wellness team your student ID,” Ross said. “After the student completes the questionnaire, it is reviewed by a medical professional. The next step is to roll up the sleeve.” 

Campus Health plans on providing an updated COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends that everybody over the age of five receives a dose of this updated vaccine. According to Ross, as of late September, Campus Health is in the process of ordering the new vaccines. 

“We’re ordering it to offer the new COVID-19 vaccine in November,” Ross said. “As soon as we get the vaccine in, we’re going to encourage students to get the vaccine before they leave for winter break.”

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