Press Release
Senator Declan O'Scanlon Senator Declan O'Scanlon (R-13)
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Contact: Chris Sivel / (609) 847-3600
August 18, 2023
O’Scanlon: Rutgers Ongoing COVID Vaccine Mandate ‘Ludicrous’

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon sharply criticized Rutgers ongoing COVID vaccine mandate as being out of step with science and logic following news that Rutgers University is continuing to require students to provide proof of immunization from COVID-19 or face possible dis-enrollment from the school.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon sharply criticized Rutgers ongoing COVID vaccine mandate as being out of step with science and logic. (

“It’s baffling to see that from what should be a leading voice of science-based rationality, comes arbitrary garbage,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “We now know for an absolute fact that the COVID vaccine protects no one except the recipient of the vaccine. Broad-based policies like this should only be enacted with the goal of protecting individuals from someone else’s action or inaction. It’s not the job of Rutgers, or Governor Murphy, or anyone else to enact a policy to protect me from myself and my own decisions– or from some perceived protection of my own self due to my own decisions.”

Rutgers was the first university in the nation to require their students to be vaccinated from COVID-19, according to a Rutgers press release.

“Further highlighting this absurdity and inconsistency is that Rutgers is mandating the primary vaccine series but not mandating boosters. It’s a ludicrous policy; any benefit there might have been from the initial vaccine has long since waned in the face of continuously evolving strains.” O’Scanlon continued. “We are all very likely being exposed to COVID on a regular basis, in some form, just by virtue of interacting with people. It is extremely probable that no one who has been out and about in society in any way over the course of the last 3 years hasn’t been exposed to COVID—and doesn’t have some level of natural immunity. Evidence of how ludicrous this policy is just keeps piling on.”

Although the federal government made the long-awaited announcement that the public health emergency was over months ago, Rutgers University still requires students to provide proof of immunization to attend classes.

“Rutgers students who don’t want to get the vaccine for whatever reason should be allowed to not get the vaccine and still attend college– that should absolutely be no business of irrational Rutgers administrators,” O’Scanlon concluded. “Good job Rutgers for putting another stake in the heart of the credibility of institutions of higher education and the greater health policy community. Maybe the good news is that there’s so little credibility left the net result isn’t impacted that much by this ludicrous mandate.”

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