By Toby Leigh Leffew

If COVID-19 was the big, hot button issue of 2020, the vaccine for COVID-19 is the hot button issue of 2021. Ever since the vaccine became available in spring 2021, it’s been causing quite a stir to say the least. Many people believe that the vaccine is a miracle of modern medicine, while others believe the vaccine is unsafe and rushed. Some people even believe that the vaccine is actively harming people. Both the pro-vaccination and anti-vaccination groups are certain, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are correct. Several institutions have started requiring the COVID-19 vaccine, as a protective measure against the virus.

So, will McPherson College ever make the vaccine mandatory? We don’t know. I think it would be amazing if every student attending McPherson volunteered to get the jab. However, that’s wishful thinking. Even though a vaccine mandate would help McPherson protect their immunocompromised students, it would stir up way more trouble than the college would ever want to deal with. Many students within the college have expressed a disliking of the vaccine (this is only what I could glean from listening to other students discuss the vaccine). It is not unlikely to consider that if McPherson were to make the vaccine mandatory, these students would leave.

However, this doesn’t mean that McPherson College isn’t trying to get its students vaccinated. Although the situation may seem grim (given what I said in the previous paragraph),things aren’t as bad as they seem. It appears to me that McPherson is trying a different strategy to get people to vaccinate themselves: positive consequences for positive actions. Although it isn’t 100% successful, I’d like to believe that McPherson is doing everything they can do within reason. They’ve given students an opportunity to be vaccinated without even leaving campus. In addition, they’ve also provided some financial incentives to getting vaccinated, such as giving students $35.00 for getting both doses of the vaccine. Our college might not be able to do everything, but I’d like to believe they’re doing everything they can to keep the students safe.