Contra Costa College students must get COVID-19 vaccines to return to campus 

By Savannah Serrano, Staff writer

All Contra Costa College students who want to come to campus next semester for spring 2022 will need to be vaccinated, according to an announcement posted on the school’s website, which also said that those students who get fully vaccinated before Nov. 1 are entitled to $150 if they submit proof of full vaccination. 

Also, according to the Contra Costa College District website, any faculty and staff members or visitors who plan on using any in-person student support services in Spring 2022, will have to show proof of full vaccination by Nov.1.

The college district will accept any of the three approved vaccines by the World Health Organization, which include Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. 

Students and faculty members can apply for an exemption from the vaccine if they have a medical conditions that prevent them from getting the vaccine, a disability or pregnancy or a religious objection. Weekly testing will be required for individuals approved for those exemptions.

While vaccine mandates have been controversial at workplaces and schools across the country, students and faculty members at Contra Costa who spoke to The Advocate expressed support for the requirement. 

Professor Joseph Carver, a professor of speech at Contra Costa College, called the requirement “a great move for our faculty and students here on campus.” 

Carver said the mandate might be the best thing that will happen to the classroom, and it’s the next step for the college community to have any “normalcy” on campus. 

“If this is the procedure we have to take to make us students, teachers, staff members, etc. feel the safest around each other then we need to do it,” he said. 

“I do believe that the vaccine mandate for CCC is, overall, a great thing,” Carver continued. “Primarily because anything we can do to not only help ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on campus, but taking real steps to help folks feel safer and more comfortable is a good idea. As we start to get back to more of our face-to-face instruction and our on-campus activities, we want the people that make up the CCC community to concentrate on just that –- being present, not about an increased risk of infection due to negligence.” 

Mikey Gonalez, who is taking in-person classes at Contra Costa College and is part of the college’s training program for emergency medical technicians, said he supports the vaccine requirement at the school.

“If this mandate will help stop and slow the spread of Covid-19, this is the next step of making us feel safest in the classroom,” Gonzalez said. 

Gonzalez was already fully vaccinated before the mandate was announced, but he said he hopes it increases the rate of vaccinations for others. 

“I hope this mandate will help encourage other students and faculty members to get vaccinated, so we can all join the classrooms again,” he said.