Hundreds of Rutgers students, parents hold protest against university's COVID-19 vaccine mandate
Rutgers University students and parents held a rally Friday to protest the university's policy requiring students to get a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus this fall.
Rutgers became one of the first major universities nationwide to announce that the vaccine would be required in most cases.
Junior Sara Razi organized the event. She is also the state chair of Young Americans for Liberty. She wanted to stress that she is not against vaccines but rather is against making them mandatory.
“I received many vaccinations in the past,” Razi says. “I am against this mandate for several reasons. One because it's being used as a political tool in New Jersey and all over the nation to bribe students into forcing themselves to get the vaccination or to have an education and to get back to a normal life."
But support is high among college students for mandatory vaccines. A recent poll by College Finance shows more than 70% of students out of 1,000 surveyed say a vaccine requirement is OK. Almost 88% say they were getting a vaccine.
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By political party, there is a sharper divide – 80% of Democrat college students say vaccines should be required, while just 35% of students identifying as Republican feel a vaccine requirement should be needed.
Up to 500 people, including students, some lawmakers, and at least 20 doctors, attended Friday’s rally.
Rutgers is not requiring staff or faculty to get the vaccine, but it is strongly recommended. More than 4 million people in New Jersey are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.