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College students react to COVID booster shot mandate

Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 5:06 PM EST
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POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - Add a COVID booster to the list of things many college students will need to go back for the spring semester.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced all SUNY students must get boosters. SUNY Potsdam junior Hanna Ceresoli supports that.

“I work around kids a lot and the older community. So, anything I can do to help protect them and myself in the long run, I understand and would support,” she said.

Others are not so sure.

“I think it’s excessive,” said Nolan Furnia, SUNY Binghamton sophomore.

But students aren’t left with much choice.

“You either take it and try to live a normal college experience, or you don’t have any college experience,” said Furnia.

SUNY Postdam, SUNY Canton, Clarkson and St. Lawrence all required students to be fully vaccinated in the fall. All four will now require boosters.

College officials are crediting vaccine mandates and other measures for keeping college campuses open last fall. That’s why we’re seeing those mandates kept in place, and even added to, in some cases, for the spring semester.

And SUNY is adding another. Hochul says all SUNY faculty will now be required to get vaccinated. That wasn’t the case before. Clarkson and St. Lawrence already required it. Students say it’s only fair.

“Especially since you have faculty who are working so closely with the students. Anything they can do to help protect themselves and those around them – I think would be a good idea,” said Ceresoli.

“I guess if we have to, they should too, honestly,” said Furnia.

All four campuses attained student vaccination rates of 98 percent or above in the fall. Regular testing is required for the small percentage who have religious or medical exemptions.

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