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Clarkson requires workers to get COVID vaccination, 99 percent get the shot

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 5:08 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Should employers require workers to get vaccinated? And if so, will employees get the shot? At Clarkson University, the answer is yes – and yes.

It’s sort of like a workplace experiment. Will employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 if the boss says they have to?

“For us, it’s setting an example because we want to set the example for the community that this is safe and that this is the way that we feel it’s appropriate to go,” said Joan Caruso, physician assistant program chair.

The college says 99 percent of its more than 750 employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The remaining workers received medical or religious exemptions.

“I think it comes down to the culture at the university and, in the end, the culture understands science, believes in science,” said Lenn Johns, Clarkson Lewis School of Health Sciences dean.

And they say it’s about even more than just the science.

“The Clarkson faculty and staff really want to uphold the university’s values: caring; service, teamwork, and just demonstrate that to the community,” said Caruso.

And it’s not just Clarkson employees that have to get the jab.

As of August 1, all students have had to be fully vaccinated to enter campus.

Other colleges in the area are also requiring student vaccinations. At Clarkson, they say that job is almost done. Out of 4,000 students returning for the fall semester, 97.5 percent are fully vaccinated.

“It’s about all of us working together to have a safe place to work and to learn,” said Johns.

Whether or not Clarkson’s example will be followed by other types of employers remains to be seen. But for now, at Clarkson, they want to set the example.

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