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Editorial: Bradley’s new mask requirements further incentivizes vaccination

On Thursday afternoon, Bradley sent an email to all students announcing that the university’s mask mandate has been lifted for fully vaccinated individuals as a result of new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

However, many mask requirements remain, including inside the classroom for summer learning sessions. 

This university email is another reminder that the quicker everybody in the Bradley community gets vaccinated, the quicker we can get back to normal campus operations. 

At this time, all three COVID-19 vaccines are widely available across the nation at pharmacies, local health clinics and at mass vaccination sites set up by the government. Unless you are unable to get one due to health or religious reasons, there are few excuses to not get the vaccine. 

While most classes will move back to a face-to-face format this fall, a high rate of vaccinated individuals on campus will protect Bradley from any possible outbreaks, which would put normal class delivery at risk. Additionally, if most students come to campus vaccinated, then mask mandates in the classroom and elsewhere may end entirely. 

Many universities in the United States will require the COVID-19 vaccine for the fall semester including Loyola University-Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and Indiana University. As more colleges make this decision, Bradley may follow. However, a possible requirement should not be the sole reason for receiving a vaccine that can protect yourself and those around you. 

Getting the vaccine now over the summer will also make it easier to hang out with friends, see family members and make travel plans. Fully vaccinated people will also have easier access to attend music festivals, sporting events and everything else we have missed within the past year.

There’s been heavy research done for the vaccine, and the short development of it has been due to modern science. The CDC frequently updates their information for the vaccines and shows where to find credible vaccine information.

These social and health factors should be the biggest push to get the vaccine alone. 

According to the CDC, about 40 percent of the country’s population is fully vaccinated and 50.6 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated. COVID-19 case numbers are also decreasing.

However, that does not mean the pandemic is at its end. We may be getting closer, but we must work together to protect each other by making the decision to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Otherwise, the requirement may be necessary.

For the entirety of the last year and half, college students have clamored for a return to normalcy. Now, there’s a surefire way to attain a return to that normalcy. But we won’t be able to get there if we don’t utilize the vaccine.

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The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.