A college football player who refuses to get a COVID-19 shot says he's quitting Rutgers because of the school's vaccine mandate
- Peyton Powell, a football player at Rutgers University, doesn't want the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Powell announced he transferring because Rutgers is requiring all students to get vaccinated.
- Vaccine mandates at universities and workplaces are expected to boost US vaccination rates.
A college football player says he is transferring out of Rutgers University because the school is requiring him to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Peyton Powell, a 20-year-old defensive back, announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he won't get the shot and has instead decided to enter into the NCAA transfer portal, which allows active college athletes to open their recruitment to other programs.
Rutgers requires all students, including athletes, to get vaccinated for the 2021-22 school year. It's one of many universities mandating vaccines for in-person schooling in order to minimize the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks. The University of Oregon and Ohio State, both college football power houses, have implemented similar requirements for their students this fall. So Powell's refusal to get vaccinated might make it difficult for him to find a roster spot in another major college football program.
-Peyton Powell (@PPowell_) August 24, 2021
Powell is originally from Texas and enrolled at Baylor University as a freshman in 2020, but he transferred to Rutgers this year. Now he will look for his second transfer as a sophomore.
Mandates are being eyed as a new tool in the US's race against Delta
Vaccine mandates at schools and workplaces are expected to significantly boost the percentage of vaccinated Americans, which has just tipped over 50%.
Some public-health experts previously estimated that we'd need at least 70% of the population vaccinated to return to some sense of normalcy. But given the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and how quickly the virus is spreading in the US, the goalposts have moved. Now that the Delta variant has become dominant, the US will likely need at least 90% of the population to get vaccinated in order to reach relative normalcy, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said.
This week, a new study on thousands of people with COVID-19 found that fully vaccinated people were less infectious and recovered more quickly than those who are partially or unvaccinated. Research from the CDC on Tuesday also suggested that unvaccinated people are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who got the shot. Both findings add to a wealth of existing evidence that the vaccines are an effective tool for curbing the spread of the virus, even with Delta at play.
School mandates will be increasingly common now that the shot is approved
Rutgers announced in March that all students who planned to attend on-campus classes and live in on-campus housing would be required to get vaccinated this year. It was one of the first universities in the country to implement such a mandate.
But over 200 other major US universities have since followed suit with similar requirements, according to University Business.
Even more are expected to join their ranks now that the Food and Drug Administration has fully approved the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine. However, these vaccine rules have not been without controversy. In June, for example, a group of students sued Indiana University for requiring the COVID-19 vaccine, alleging it was unconstitutional and interfered with their "bodily autonomy." Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett dismissed the suit.
Most campuses already require proof of vaccination against tuberculosis and hepatitis B.
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