Cornell University recently announced an exception for minority students in regards to its mandatory flu vaccine policy. The university’s website says that “students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or as a Person of Color (BIPOC)” can apply for an exemption from the mandatory vaccine rule if it makes them uncomfortable.
The mandatory vaccine policy applies to all students and faculty members.
“Ithaca students with other concerns / extenuating circumstances may request an exemption from the Fall 2020 flu vaccination requirement that is part of the university’s COVID-19 Behavioral Compact,” the university’s website says. “Students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or as a Person of Color (BIPOC) may have personal concerns about fulfilling the Compact requirements based on historical injustices and current events.”
The university claims that they created the exemption for minority students because minority groups have historically been mistreated by medical professionals. The university also said that minority students may not want to take the vaccine due to police brutality in the United States.
The website reads,
“For example, historically, the bodies the of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) have been mistreated, and used by people in power, sometimes for profit or medical gain. It is understandable that the current Compact requirements may feel suspect or even exploitative to some BIPOC members of the Cornell community. Additionally, recent acts of violence against Black people by law enforcement may contribute to feelings of distrust or powerlessness. We know this history and validate the potential concerns it may raise.”