BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — SUNY leaders announced on Monday a new initiative to get as many students vaccinated in the next 30 days as possible — the ’30-Day Vax Challenge’.
In an op-ed to USA Today, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras describes the full college experience he wants for the fall – unmasked classrooms, packed sporting events, full concert halls.
But it will depend on students getting their vaccine.
The school plans on a full mandate once vaccines receive FDA approval. In a survey of more than 30,000 SUNY students, nearly 75% said they received at least their first dose of the COVID vaccine.
John Follaco, Director of Communications with SUNY Brockport knows what students want is normalcy. “Our students are really hungry to get back to classic typical college experience.”
And the past year was far from it. But with vaccines more accessible, SUNY leaders say getting immunized is a way of taking back control.
“The key to all that is vaccination. That will allow us to resume the activities and experience we all miss last year and to do it safely,” said Follaco.
As part of the challenge, Follaco says they’re stepping up outreach. On social media you’ll see the hashtag #30dayvaxchallenge.
Students are encouraged to submit a video of themselves, explaining why they chose to get vaccinated.
Follaco said it’s not just about return to normalcy, but also about keeping everyone safe.
“The Delta Variant is emerging and becoming more and more prevalent in the United States, it’s highly contagious so it’s really really important that people get vaccinated,” said Follaco.
He says new guidance for the fall will be unveiled soon.
Follaco says it’s normal for people to have questions and nerves about this vaccine. He urges students to go to the health center on campus or SUNY.gov/knowyourvax to learn more.
The chancellor is also pushing for all faculty members to get the vaccine. They plan on mandated weekly testing for any members who are not fully vaccinated this fall.