Some CUH Students Oppose Covid Vaccine


Mariana Wheeler

To attend in-person classes this fall, CUH offers weekly Covid tests for unvaccinated students and asks for vaccinated students to submit their vaccination records.

For one Chaminade student, the fact that he chose to abstain from the Covid-19 vaccine did not mean he was anti-vaccine. In fact, two months ago, he got a tetanus shot.

But even as he sees vaccinated people testing positive for coronavirus, he remains certain of his stance. The fourth-year student believes that even if you are fully vaccinated, people are still spreading and infecting others with the virus if they catch it. Therefore, there is “no real benefit of getting it,” when people are still getting sick with or without the shot.

“There are two sides,” said the fourth-year student, who asked that his name be withheld from this article. “There are people that are super-pro vaccine to the point where they start threatening and shaming people. On the other side, there are people that make fun of others for getting the vaccine or just judge them. There are two sides, and I’m neither.”

This fall, Chaminade students  have to be vaccinated or take a weekly Covid-19 test to be on campus. As of Sept. 21, 85% of the 1,031 undergraduate students have been vaccinated, according to CUH website. While this is well above the national percentage of vaccinated adults, there are still a number of students who are unvaccinated. Some, like the fourth-year student, feel like the vaccine is pointless because vaccinated people are still getting sick. Others have refused to get vaccinated because of religious reasons or questions about the science. Regardless, it has created a divide on campus between the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

According to the CDC, on Sept. 10, hospitalizations among unvaccinated adolescents were 10 times higher than if fully vaccinated. That has yet to convince him to get vaccinated, he said.

“Sadly, it’s being heavily politicized,” he said. “If I started having symptoms, it’s just common sense, don’t go anywhere.”

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has enacted the most restrictive vaccine mandate in place in Hawaii. Since Sept. 13, customers on Oahu who wish to visit restaurants, gyms, and other establishments must show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test. The city’s Safe Access Oahu Program will remain in effect for approximately 60 days.

Many employers, like the U.S. military, Honolulu city employees (including the police, fire department and lifeguards) and Delta Airlines, are now requiring a vaccination, negative test or religious exemption in order to work.

However, two weeks after being initially interviewed for this story, the fourth-year student revealed that he eventually received the Covid vaccine due to his government-affiliated job. According to the student, it was a decision based on being employed and if he didn’t get the shot, he would have been let go.

For another CUH student, he’s had to endure and face the consequences of the new rules Honolulu has implemented in the last month. The third-year student, who asked that his name be withheld from this article, chose not to get vaccinated for religious reasons.

As a Catholic, I have to plant my foot down and be confident and be able to back up the reasoning as to why I choose not to get the (Covid) vaccines,” he said. “That is what has driven this vaccine mandate, it’s strictly fear.”

Conspiracy theorists allege the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines  were made from aborted fetus cell lines; however, according to Nebraska Medicine, the Covid-19 vaccines do not contain any aborted fetal cells. Fetal cell lines collected generations ago were used in testing during research and development of the mRNA vaccines and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Last month, Pope Francis urged people to get vaccinated, calling it “an act of love.” Pope Francis said he “believes that getting the Covid-19 vaccines ensures the hope we may have of ending the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we work together,” he said. Pope Francis continued, “the vaccination is a profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other.” In December 2020, the Vatican declared that taking the vaccine is “morally acceptable.”

“The pope gave the green light that everyone should get vaccinated, help take care of your neighbor, and yes, I do strongly believe as a Roman Catholic, I believe in the pope. But, when he was talking, he was not infallible,” the third-year student said.

In addition, the third-year student was willing to share his story of having Covid and how much it has influenced him more not to get vaccinated.

“I’ve had Covid. It was two months ago. It was the worst sickness I have ever felt in my entire life. I would go through it again for my beliefs,” he said. He also made it apparent that although he does not wish to be vaccinated, he does believe that Covid-19 is a real threat.

According to John Hopkins University, there have been nearly 4.7 million deaths worldwide among the 231 million confirmed cases as of Sept. 26.

One Chaminade student, who asked her name to be withheld, declined to get vaccinated due to her concerns about how fast the vaccine was released shortly after the pandemic outbreak. She was also concerned about the effects on women’s reproductive health, including claims that it sterilizes women. This claim has been widely debunked.

“With how fast it’s been released and there is not that much research being done and conducted for long-term effects, it makes me worried because I know my older sister, she has a Biochemistry degree and she does a lot of research within it, she reads all of the scientific articles,” she said. “Some of it affects the women’s reproductive health.”

According to the CDC, the general stages of developing a new vaccine are the exploratory stage, pre-clinical stage, clinical development, regulatory reviewal and approval, manufacturing, and quality control. The typical time period for making a vaccine can take up to 10-15 years. However, the Covid-19 vaccines took under a year to develop and received FDA approval, according to Medical News Today.

“I know they (CDC) want to just report the numbers,” she said. “But I feel like they should also report numbers about people that are vaccinated, that do get it. That way there is no stigma.”