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FDA fully approves Pfizer vaccine, students unsure about requirement

<p>The Food &amp; Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer<strong>-</strong>BioNTech vaccine on Aug. 23. Miami University now has the option to mandate the vaccine, but students are divided on the university&#x27;s potential next steps. </p>

The Food & Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Aug. 23. Miami University now has the option to mandate the vaccine, but students are divided on the university's potential next steps.

Now that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 has been fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Miami University students have mixed feelings about the university requiring vaccination. 

According to Miami’s COVID-19 FAQ, the university “will be prepared to require vaccination once there is full FDA approval,” but plans for implementing that requirement have yet to be released.

Sophomore political science major Katie Szekely said she would support the university’s requiring the vaccine with reasonable health exceptions.

Szekely, who got her Pfizer shots at Miami’s spring 2021 vaccine clinics as soon as possible, said her dad is in a high-risk group for the virus, and that both of her parents work in the medical field.

“I wish everybody here would get vaccinated,” Szekely said. “I think it’s the right thing to do to protect not just yourself, but your community.”

She said only considering the youth of Miami’s student body doesn’t take into account the health of professors and their families or the greater Oxford community.

Veronica Domke, a senior biology and pre-medical studies double major, said the FDA’s approval makes her feel safer about her Pfizer shots. But she doesn’t think full approval makes it necessary for Miami to require the vaccine.

“In an ideal world, we would all be vaccinated,” Domke said. “But … I feel like vaccines should be left up to people and their choice and whether they want to get it, so I don’t really know how I feel about [a requirement].”

First-year sports leadership and management major Jack Craddock agreed with Domke, saying he felt safer about being vaccinated, but that vaccination should remain an individual choice.

“I don’t think … one body of people can decide for an entire community what’s best for them,” Craddock said.

A spokesperson for Miami did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

@jakeruffer

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