Trinitas nursing students file petition challenging decision to make COVID vaccine mandatory

Some students at the Trinitas Medical Center Nursing School are questioning why they're being forced to get the COVID vaccine, when doctors and nurses who work in the facility aren’t required to also get it.
The students have been giving something of an ultimatum – either take the COVID-19 vaccine or drop out of the program before the clinical portion begins. It is a decision that is not sitting well with some students.
“I feel like my rights are being taken away,” one student who wished to remain anonymous told News 12 New Jersey.
That student and others are responding to a letter from dean Dr. Roseminda Santa. The letter states, "Students who choose not to take the vaccine for any reason must withdraw from the course before classes start on Jan. 25.”
The students say that the decision was made on Jan. 15, but that they were told on Jan. 8 that they would not need to be vaccinated.
“I’m not willing to take the vaccination. It is way too soon, and we are still in the trial phase with the coronavirus vaccine. It hasn’t been on the market 60 days,” the student said.
Trinitas reaffirmed its decision, telling News 12 in a statement, “We made this decision out of concern for patient and hospital staff safety. Restricting traffic into the hospital, such as with our current visitor restrictions, decreases the possibility of pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals exposing our patients and/or staff."
A spokesperson for the hospital also pointed out that they are encouraging all employees to also get the vaccine and that at some time, they may be required.
There are exceptions for students who have a health or religious exemption.
The students say that they are hoping that their petition, which also includes the names of some employees, will convince the school to change its decision.