A college in Tennessee plans to charge students who have not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine over $1,000 per semester, pending the full approval of the vaccines.
Rhodes College said in a recent letter to students that it expects Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the shots before encouraging students to get a jab.
“In anticipation of FDA approval, we are strongly recommending all students be vaccinated this summer in order to not prevent or delay your return to campus in August. Immediately following FDA approval, students will be required to be vaccinated to access campus,” the school said.
“Upon returning to campus non-vaccinated students will be charged a $1500 per semester Health & Safety fee to cover the costs of mandatory testing,” it added.
International students who are able to document their intent to get vaccinated upon arrival to campus can get the charge waived, Rhodes College said. That move was made to recognize that some foreign students may not have access to a vaccine.
Three COVID-19 vaccines are currently being administered in the United States, but none have received full approval. Instead, they’re being administered through emergency use authorization.
The FDA has not given an indication as to when it will fully approve any of the shots. Moderna and Pfizer, which both produce two-shot vaccines, have asked drug regulators for full approval.
Until the approval comes, Rhodes College is strongly recommending, but not requiring, full vaccination. The school will also require a flu shot.
Authorities say getting a COVID-19 vaccine cuts down on one’s chances of contracting the disease, based on clinical trial data. But Rhodes College is still forcing students who have been vaccinated to be tested for COVID-19 if they display symptoms. Unvaccinated students will need to under regular testing, provided one or more vaccine gets the full approval.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Rhodes College is located in Memphis, Tennessee. It has an estimated enrollment of approximately 2,000 students.
Schools across the nation are requiring students to get a vaccine, but Rhodes appears to be the only or one of few to plan to charge unvaccinated students.
Dietwin Smoli, a student at Rhodes College, said he found the pending charge unnecessary.
“People shouldn’t have to choose between higher education and to participate in a clinical trial,” Smoli told Fox News.
“Taking a vaccine is a personal decision, and the fact is that people my age are way less likely to contract serious cases of COVID-19, let alone be hospitalized and die from it. So there’s no need to impose vaccine mandates on young people, especially when the alternative imposes a hefty amount of money that most college students, lets be real, don’t have access to.”