Students & parents take exception to UO’s “philosophical” exemption

In the Daily Emerald here. Some snippets:

I think by allowing exemptions other than medical, the school has defeated the purpose of the vaccine mandate. If someone’s personal reason not to get vaccinated is that they don’t believe in COVID-19 then they are endangering the lives of other students on campus. If this is UO’s policy then the school shouldn’t say it’s requiring all students and faculty to be vaccinated because clearly they aren’t.”

“I feel that a religious or philosophical reason to not get vaccinated is not good enough. If they don’t want it, fine, but they cannot attend classes on campus. It’s not fair to the thousands of other students and faculty who have gotten it to try to get back to a normal life.”

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24 Responses to Students & parents take exception to UO’s “philosophical” exemption

  1. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    If a religious or philosophical exemption is not OK, I’m not sure I see why a medical exemption is OK.

    • uomatters says:

      I’m no logical positivist, but at least claims for medical exemptions are falsifiable.

    • just different says:

      Not sure what your point is here, because these are three different animals. A medical exemption is granted when the medical risk of the vaccine to the individual is high. In other words, a medical exemption is a disability accommodation. Religious exemptions are protected by the First Amendment and apply in the rare case that someone is a sincere practioner of a faith that prohibits vaccination.

      “Philosophical” exemptions, on the other hand, are total horseshit for the same reason that “sovereign citizen” is total horseshit. They shouldn’t be allowed, period, especially since the “philosophy” tends to also include not giving enough of a crap about other people to comply with mask and distancing mandates.

  2. New Year Cat says:

    A medical exemption would apply when giving a vaccine would medically endanger the recipient. This would be a small number of people. Just Different is correct about the “philosophical” exemptions. Most religions advocate care for others and the community, so I would not expect to see, e.g., a Lutheran, apply for that kind of exemption.

    • just different says:

      AFAIK the only established religion of any size that prohibits vaccination is the Church of Christ, Scientist, which numbers at most a few hundred thousand globally. Even Amish, Mennonites, Lubavitcher Jews, and Seventh-Day Adventists allow vaccination, although “hesitancy” is high in those communities.

  3. Old Gray Mare says:

    Perhaps getting a “philosophical” exception should require writing a ten-page thoroughly documented philosophical paper showing a firm grasp of logic, full engagement with the ethics of the issue, and an understanding of how the argument for not vaccinating fits into the history of American philosophical thought. This could be accompanied by a fee to finance the grading of the essay.

  4. AnotherClassified says:

    I now re-post from another thread in UOM my query: WTF will UO do with the Delta regarding full capacity in classrooms? Chime in IMT. Currently no distancing/abandoned seating plans from spring; it is less safe now more than ever with this variant to you, our community, with this highly more contagious variant.

    “Related variant side note to UOM: what’s the scuttlebutt on the IMT and RO on classroom capacity for fall term? JH must be sweating bullets — we can assume it’s all about the $ and not safety.

    The UO Covid site “Physical distancing is no longer required. However, individuals are encouraged to maintain distance when possible, especially when eating or if not fully vaccinated.”

    With this it’s full-on butts in every seat in classrooms. Wonderful. Glad we know what’s going on. But, what should actually be going on? Crickets…. If this is the plan then with what’s going on currently in Lane Co I’d rec not going in any classroom. Delta Force is the most dangerous unit we’ve had to combat yet.

    Perhaps UOM can start a separate thread on this topic?”

    • honest Uncle Bernie says:

      I have a feeling a lot of faculty will jump ship when they see what’s happening. I would watch the UO case count carefully. I bet the admins are losing a lot of sleep over this. They are really in a hard place. If they go back to remote, UO is going to be in trouble and a lot of faculty and staff are going to be in a hard place. If they go ahead with the current plans, UO is going to be in trouble and a lot of faculty and staff are going to be in a hard place.

  5. thedude says:

    Here’s the endgame with delta.

    WE’re all getting exposed to Covid19. If you’re unvaccinated, you’re unlikely to get sick.

    Delta is too contagious. While vaccines prevent severe disease, they only prevent infections 30-40 percent of the time.

    So this means the herd immunity threshold is (1-1/7)/.7=1.2 to 1.3. So 120 or 130 percent of us need to be vaccinated for this to disappear.

    Given that impossibility. The endgame is simply be vaccinated, and change your lifestyle to be as healthy as possible.

    Good luck everybody!!!

  6. thedude says:

    Also I meant to say breakthrough infections happen 30-40 percent of the time.

    • just different says:

      I have no idea what “breakthrough infections happen 30-40 percent of the time” is supposed to mean, and I cannot figure out any way to parse it to somehow make it meaningful, let alone correct.

      What is true is that although more breakthrough infections happen with delta, and the data is still preliminary, the vaccine still seems to be ~80% effective at preventing ANY infection.
      Breakthrough COVID cases in Colorado (CO Public Radio)
      What to know about delta (NYT)

      The nasal viral load thing probably doesn’t imply that vaxxed and unvaxxed transmit delta at the same rates:
      Virological and serological kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 Delta (medRxiv)

      So at worst, the vaccine has gone from the rate of breakthrough infections being <0.1% with alpha to <5% with delta. Remember that 80% effective means an 80% reduction in your likelihood of contracting covid vs unvaxxed, and of course your overall likelihood of contracting covid depends on community positivity rates, which in turn depends on community vax rates (and other factors).

      Incidentally, I don't know exactly what your position is and I'm not going to go back through all your comments, but I feel like you've come awfully close to spreading antivaxx bullshit on this website on more than one occasion.

      • thedude says:

        Not antivax at all. I’m vaccinated, so are my older kids, etc.

        If anything I’m saying the Delta variant and declined effectiveness in preventing any infection (but high effectiveness in preventing hospitalization), could mean SarsCov2 is destined to be endemic forever.

        To which I say get vaccinated, because that will guarantee minimized severity of outcomes when you are exposed.

        So you tell us what number to plug into the herd immunity equation.

        (1-1/7)/E, what is E? I agree we don’t know exactly what it is. Is it .7? Is it .8? Is it even higher because even if you get infected the viral load is lower for a shorter period of time? So is it .9? Originally it was .95, and evidently its lower than that.

        All of those things matter of course for what is the steady level Delta will be circulating at, and how endemic the virus is.

        That doesn’t change the individual best response. If anything it means free riding on vaccination herd immunity is harder, and so individuals should vaccinate themselves ASAP if they haven’t done so already.

  7. Observer says:

    I’m not entirely happy that faculty are not allowed to ask students about their vaccination status. And we’ve all heard how we’re commanded to be on campus as usual unless we go through a long and complicated ADA-exemption process. (And a friend of mine who unquestionably qualifies for that status is finding it a challenge to try to get it.) So what are the chances that I, who have several risk factors, will at some point be in my tiny office with a student who has a Philosophical Exemption from being vaccinated, and who insists on coming to office hours because I can’t stop them? Not so happy about this.

  8. Inquiring minds says:

    This mandate translates to “you are required to get a vaccine if you want one.”

  9. Dog says:

    Current on the ground situation:

    FYI Friday 48, today 60 Covid cases at least 12 in ICU (riverbend). All elective surgeries are canceled due to bed unavailability and needing to leave some open for other emergencies not related to Covid. Roseburg, Bend, Grants Pass and Medford same situation.

    • just different says:

      According to the OHA dashboard Jackson+Josephine currently has one ICU bed available. 82% of the 57 ICU beds in those counties are filled with covid patients. Guess where the overflow will go.

      Oh, and vax rates there are in the low forties.

  10. Walrus says:

    The Lane Co. 7-day-average death rate continues to be zero. In the past few months, it has always been zero, with a few jumps to 1.

    Does anyone know where to find data on what the fraction is of hospitalized people who are unvaccinated?

    • just different says:

      OHA isn’t reporting that, so that data is probably hard to come by. A KGW piece last night said 100% of covid ICU cases at OHSU are unvaccinated.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What is the point of “requiring” vaccines if they don’t have employees verify their status with vaccine cards or cross-checking records?

    No wording on supporting faculty who may want to remain masked when lecturing?

    What is going to happens when professors/students inevitably get COVID? Will classes move online, be cancelled?

    Unbelievable amount of silence and lack of details.

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