Mason emails students, faculty, staff and contracted workers regarding their plans to get vaccinated
BY SUDIKSHA KOCHI STAFF WRITER
On March 23, Safety, Emergency, & Enterprise Risk Management sent out an email stating that Mason was coordinating with the Virginia Department of Health and local health districts to vaccinate employees and students with the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at EagleBank Arena.
“I think it is great that Mason is aiming to plan to vaccinate all employees and students considering that the majority have to wait,” sophomore Government and International Politics major Vanessa Gutierrez said. “I also think that being vaccinated helps relieve many people. It will also encourage more people to return on campus.”
The email, though it did not go into detail about when they hope to have all students and faculty vaccinated, did state that those individuals should take a survey so that the university could provide the VDH with accurate numbers regarding vaccine supply.
“I do think that all students should be vaccinated by the time fall semester starts next year to return back to something close to normal, where everyone is now safer and more immune to getting the virus,” Gutierrez said. “I know this is a stretch but I think the majority of the Mason community will push and get vaccinated by next year. I think as a community we need to take this crucial step to help our state and the nation in doing this for our safety.”
Sophomore Business major Huyen Pham expressed a different opinion.
“I don’t think all students will be vaccinated by fall semester because some people might not want to be vaccinated. Employees will most likely be prioritized and there might be a limited amount of vaccines,” Pham said.
Nonetheless, the community is taking crucial steps to ensure that students and faculty have a chance at being vaccinated. However, one group was left out of this plan: contracted workers.
“I was very angry to hear that Mason had initially left out contracted workers in the plan to vaccinate employees and students. These essential workers have sacrificed a lot to allow students and staff to slowly return to the campus both last fall and this spring,” sophomore Psychology major Alec Anderson said. “I was pleased to find out that there was a petition going around quickly and that it was able to sway administration and the Risk Management team.”
The management team sent out another email on April 9 stating that contracted workers would be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’m glad Mason has now included contracted workers in their plan. As an employee of Mason working remotely, having the ability to get the vaccine and feel safe if I ever came to campus to work or be educated makes me feel safe,” sophomore Computer Science major Manasi Mudumbai said. “I’m sure other contracted workers would say the same, to feel safe on campus and continue to work.”
Mudumbai said that overall, she believes Mason’s plan to vaccinate will be effective.
“Most students would probably be vaccinated before the fall semester begins, mainly because the distance from campus is different from student to student,” Mudumbai said. “Students who live farther away from campus and from a vaccination clinic wouldn’t have the easiest access to the vaccine, but students who are close to campus and have the opportunity to be vaccinated will most likely get vaccinated.”