An Instagram page is publicly opposing the California State University system’s possible COVID-19 vaccination requirement that will be implemented across the 23 campuses in the fall and is receiving support from CSUF students.
The CSU system is currently awaiting Food and Drug Administration approval to mandate vaccines for the fall 2021 semester, where Cal State Fullerton plans to offer 60-70% of classes in-person.
The system wide mandate may require individuals to have received at least one or more vaccines to maintain everyone’s health and safety, said the CSU in a statement. The University of California system is also planning to require people to be fully immunized prior to returning to any campus.
The Instagram account, with the username, @stopvaxmandates, claims to consist of faculty, staff and students in their bio who are associated with the CSU system who “vehemently oppose vaccine mandates.” According to the account’s first post, they are not claiming to be anti-vaccine or pro-vaccine, nor are they claiming to be siding with any political party.
As of Sunday, the account has under 100 followers and has stayed active since its creation.
The account has shared posts that question the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness due to a few deaths after it was administered.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen less than two deaths per 100,000 vaccinations. Investigations into the deaths later found that the vaccine did not contribute to their passing.
Sydney Lacy, a junior at CSUF, said she iswas against the vaccine mandate and supportsed the Instagram page. She fears the mandate because she is concerned about the long term side effects of the vaccine, Lacy said.
“One of the great things about living in America is that we have free will to make our own decisions and we deserve medical freedom,” Lacy said. “I don’t shame anyone for their decision whether they choose to get the vaccine or whether they choose not to, essentially it should be your choice. However, I have an issue when people look down on you and treat you differently for not wanting to get the vaccine.,” Lacy said.
Sophomore Britney Castaneda said her concerns about the vaccine surrounded its lack of testing and not being officially approved by the FDA.
“This vaccine shouldn’t be mandated at all especially in a public school system. It’s ridiculous. Everyone in the state has their right to get vaccinated or not, why can’t the public school system also have that choice?” Castaneda said.
The Daily Titan reached out to the creator of the page and did not give their name due to their position on a CSU campus.
According to the account owner, not too many of their followers, who are against the vaccine mandate, wanted to speak out either due to the belief of retaliation toward students and employees.
In a call to action, the Instagram account is forming a campaign against the vaccine mandate with a “rally for medical freedom” from May 17-19 at the CSU chancellor’s office during the board of trustees meeting which encourages their followers, including CSUF students to attend and voice their concerns.
The account owner claims it will be harder to identify people with masks on at the rally so there is some comfort knowing that their identities can be somewhat concealed at this meeting.
Ellen Treanor, a CSUF media representative, said the CSU meeting was designed to create the space to get feedback from faculty, staff, students and union partners.
“I encourage faculty and students to give their opinions on this matter. I think all voices need to be heard,” Treanor said.