Brockport, N.Y. – SUNY Brockport students arrived on campus for their spring semester with a mandated booster shot required by the state of New York.
With over 6,000 students enrolled at SUNY Brockport, 96% of them are vaccinated and boosted.
Director of Communications at SUNY Brockport John Follaco says for the most part, students have been great, even though it has been a troubling experience.
“Students have been supportive of mandates. They have been energetic and dynamic. Students will do whatever it takes, and the vaccines are safe and effective. They just want to get back to normal campus life,” Follaco said.
Follaco wants to make it clear that vaccine mandate isn’t just a SUNY Brockport mandate. Other SUNY colleges have to do it too.
“This isn’t just a Brockport requirement. Governor Kathy Hochul and SUNY installed this framework for students to be required to receive their first two shots and a booster,” Follaco said.
Some students still feel like campus isn’t the same, even two years since this pandemic came to the United States.
Brockport student Adam Smith says he’s doing his part but he’s not sure if it makes any difference.
“It hasn’t made me feel safe because I know that some students are playing the system, and not taking the right measures to keep everybody safe. I don’t want to wear a mask every day when I can go to Wegmans which is right down the road and not wear one,” Smith said.
Brockport student Mike DePaolo says he really wants his normal life back. He says it hasn’t been the same since the beginning of the pandemic.
“I have not felt like I’ve gotten back to a normal college life. Instead of everyone being afraid of contracting COVID, they are afraid of getting in trouble with the school with their COVID restrictions. It is time we get back to a normal life,” DePaolo said.
According to the state health department, there have been over one million laboratory-confirmed breakthrough cases of COVID among fully vaccinated people in New York State, which corresponds to 8.6% of the population of fully vaccinated people 12-years or older. Also, there have been a little over 38,000 hospitalizations with COVID among fully vaccinated people in New York State, which corresponds to 0.29% of the population of fully vaccinated people 12-years or older.
0.29% of vaccinated people have had to go to the hospital due to COVID-19. This shows that the vaccines have been effective in protecting people from getting deathly ill. This graph above shows that it hasn’t prevented people from getting COVID, but that isn’t the vaccines job.
Since the state mandate, Follaco says campus is slowly getting back to normal.
“96% of our students are vaccinated. Before the vaccine was accessible, we had to shut down an entire residence hall. This year we haven’t had as many problems, even with a very contagious omicron variant,” Follaco said.
According to the CDC, unvaccinated adults are 97 times more likely to die from COVID if they test positive. This is the reason that SUNY has adopted this vaccine mandate to protect students and staff so we can all be healthy.
“The county and region have seen positivity rates drop most recently. This should be ending sooner rather than later. We all want this pandemic to be over soon,” Follaco said.
As SUNY Brockport students plan ahead for the fall semester, they’re hopeful that things will go back to normal.