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More U.S. colleges and universities are announcing a return to in-person classes this fall, and some say they will mandate that students be vaccinated against the coronavirus before arriving on campus.
Cornell University in New York, Northeastern University in Massachusetts, Fort Lewis College in Colorado, St. Edward’s University in Texas, and Brown and Roger Williams Universities in Rhode Island are some of the schools that have announced they will mandate vaccinations for the new semester.
Rutgers University in New Jersey, with 71,000 students, said inoculating the student community will “accelerate the return to a pre-pandemic normal on the university’s campuses, including increased in-person course offerings, more on-campus events, and activities,” according to its website.
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Nova Southeastern University in Florida, with nearly 26,000 students, announced on April 1 that it will resume classes in person, encouraged by vaccine availability in the state, it said on its website.
By August 1, students, staff, and faculty are to be fully vaccinated two weeks after two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines are administered.
“I’m definitely excited to go back to in-person classes. I miss being with in-person classes, meeting professors face-to-face, just meeting people in the class,” said Yemisrach Hailemariam, a sophomore from Ethiopia, who is studying neuroscience at Brown University.
“It’s really not the same over Zoom,” she said about online learning.
Students at both universities are expected to prove they’ve received a vaccination authorized in the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been put on pause, according to the FDA, after reports of side effects involving blood clots.
“We would love for all our students to be vaccinated before they go home to either place in the U.S. or places in other countries because if they go there unvaccinated, they could actually carry the virus to their families and communities,” said Gerri Taylor, co-chair of American College Health Association’s COVID-19 Task Force outside Washington. COVID-19 is a disease caused by the coronavirus.
International students’ concerns
But where the more than 1 million international students who study in the U.S. get their immunizations is a concern, Taylor said.
“Because if they get immunized in their countries, the vaccine needs to be ideally approved” by the FDA, she said.
Neither the FDA nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta have announced which vaccines provided abroad will be accepted in the United States, Taylor said.
“Some of these students have actually been vaccinated in their home countries, perhaps with a Chinese vaccine, or with Sputnik V, or with the AstraZeneca vaccine,” said William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. Sputnik V was developed in Russia. The AstraZeneca vaccine was developed jointly by the British-Swedish drugmaker and scientists at the University of Oxford.
Several nations have issued new guidelines over the use of the AstraZeneca shot after the European Union’s medical regulator announced a link between the vaccine and rare, possibly fatal, blood clots.
“Will they be accepted as vaccinated when they come back to the United States? And if not, can they be revaccinated with one of our currently available vaccines? And as far as I know, there are no data available on any of that,” Schaffner said.
International students say they are uncertain about where to get inoculated in the U.S.
Vaccination availability for young people has been a low priority in the U.S. until recently because that cohort has suffered the least proportionally from COVID-19 so far. Most people of any age have had to search the internet, looking to secure an appointment on various lists that offer vaccines — health care providers, convenience stores that have pharmacies, mass vaccination centers, big-box stores, and sports arenas — waiting for their turn.
“It’s really hard because we don’t have a home state,” Yemisrach explained. “Especially as a freshman, if you’re an international student and you don’t know how to navigate local health systems.”
Although some universities have announced they will resume in-person classes later this year, it is not clear whether vaccination requirements will be universal.
Pomona College in California, Pennsylvania State University, Boise State University in Idaho, Harvard University in Massachusetts, and the George Washington University (GWU) in Washington are some of the many that strongly suggest vaccination but have not made it mandatory.
State laws guide schools
By law, universities can enforce inoculations if the area in which they are located also mandates that every resident be vaccinated.
Vaccination “is the best way to get over corona as fast as we can because it’s really bad in the U.S. and it’s not going to leave anytime soon. So, I feel like vaccinations are probably our best bet,” said Ewenet Seleshi, a freshman studying criminal justice at GWU.
“I don’t think that people should be forced to be vaccinated unless they’re going to places like university,” said Ewenet, who is from the U.S. state of Georgia.
“States have the legal and constitutional authority to require that the people who live in that state be vaccinated or to introduce a vaccine mandate,” according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
According to the CDC, some people reserve the right to choose not to take the vaccine because of a religious belief or because they say they may be at risk for an adverse reaction or have a medical condition.
If many people were to be exempted from the vaccine, then herd immunity — or making enough people immune so the coronavirus cannot spread — might not be enough. According to the World Health Organization, herd immunity occurs when a significant number of people within a population acquires resistance to the disease or virus either through infection or vaccination.
Fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a well-fitting mask, stay 2 meters apart from others, and avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, according to the CDC. Dickinson State University in North Dakota will allow students not to wear masks if they have proof of vaccination, it announced.
“We are in North Dakota, a state where there is no statewide mask mandate at this point. … We are trading off additional protection of masks for what we believe will motivate our students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated,” Stephen D. Easton, president of Dickinson State, told NBC News in March.
“The best we can do for most of the school year was social distancing plus masks. We now have another tool that is more powerful, which is vaccination,” Easton explained.
“I’ll still be following COVID measures, but I probably will just be able to just go out a lot more. I’ll still be wearing my mask when I go places. I just probably won’t be wearing a double mask. I know a lot of people here are talking about getting the vaccine and going to parties, so I don’t think a lot of people will be following a lot of the COVID safety measures,” GWU freshman Ewenet said. (VOA/KB)
As the nation celebrated the 114th birth anniversary of his father - renowned poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan - megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered his dad as he penned a heartfelt note for him. The actor took to his blog where he poured his heart out and also shared an unseen photo with his father. The image in question is from Big B's wedding in 1973, where the two are caught in a sweet moment as they look at each other.
Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his blog,
"My Father , my all .. November 27th his birth in the year 1907 .. Which makes it his 114th Anniversary .. He is in the heavens, with my Mother and they celebrate .. as do we , in thought word and deed .. (sic). But first."
He then posted the picture followed by elaborate paragraphs. The megastar wrote,
"Those rare moments when one would find himself rushing against the winds to prevent the distance between us and to close it down as soon as it can be. The day of my wedding and his expression of fulfilment to not just be in congratulation but instead to be in the face of a belief, a chime, an ultimate season of love and great passion, of the quarries of the fears and conditionings of these deprived gym routines kart ..(sic)". "This could have been unknown for long facilitating years, to give not expected versions and lastly large scale informations of the insides ; but as time passed by, as does now , they explained purposely, the values of education and similarity .. Be in peace and love .. (sic)",
the veteran actor concluded his note. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Amitabh Bachchan, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, actor, blog, birth anniversary, 114th birthday
By Plabita Sharma
The World Vegan month of November usually brings with itself an increased amount of dialogue and searches about Vegan lifestyle, sustainable living and clean beauty. Before pondering any further, it is important to understand what the Vegan lifestyle is and how it goes beyond the concept of consuming a plant-based diet. Veganism essentially is a lifestyle that is driven by compassionate choices and an increased awareness of one's actions on the world. Thus motivated by the two, a vegan individual usually carefully curates their day-to-day practices in a manner that does little to no- harm to the planet, the people and all of its inhabitants.
Beauty as industry has time and again been scrutinised for its effects on the consumers and the ecosystem - this can be during the manufacturing process or the effect it has on the consumer's thought processes. Now, as the world moves towards adopting Global Sustainability Goals, committing to a world that works with the natural resources instead of against them - it is only fair for each individual to be curious about making the right choices to make their beauty bag as consciously curated as possible. With multiple brands coming up with new standards of vegan and sustainable beauty, many consumers are left confused and doubting the authenticity of these claims. So here is a quick guide that can help you make the right choices:
Vegan and cruelty free labels: Keeping true to the traditional meaning of Vegan - any vegan beauty product means that it is completely plant based and has no animal ingredients or any of their by-products like honey, beeswax, dairy product etc. Similarly, cruelty-free as a label means that the ingredients or the final product did not test on animals or harm any animals during the production process. One way to test the authenticity is to check if these products are legally certified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), or verified by Vegan organisations as The Vegan Society and others. Cruelty-free and vegan products are also generally categorized by having cleaner and gentler formulas as they are mostly deprived of harsh chemicals and solvents.
Any vegan beauty product means that it is completely plant based and has no animal ingredients or any of their by-products like honey, beeswax, dairy product etc. | Photo by Drew Dizzy Graham on Unsplash
Ethical and natural ingredients: It is equally important to invest in products that use ethically sourced and sustainably harvested ingredients. Since most vegan products tend to be plant derived it is of utmost value to ensure that while the source is nature, the impact of manufacturing is also minimal so that there is no harm done to the environment. Often the face scrubs used by us are most damaging not just to the face and to the marine life as well; thus opting for more natural ingredients rather than synthetic ones is quite beneficial. Some natural scrubbing ingredients are sugar, salt, coffee which are safe for the coral reefs and far gentler than synthetic scrubs.
It is equally important to invest in products that use ethically sourced and sustainably harvested ingredients. | Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Sustainable and ecofriendly packaging: While the ingredients and formulation can be certified, it is also important to pay attention the quality, material and nature of the packaging in which the product is being stored. With an increase in clean-beauty standards, the consumption of such products has also increased, thus giving brands the opportunity to further develop their packaging in a manner that is sustainable and its increased quantity does not harm the environment. This could translate into using raw materials that are recycled and can be renewed or even introducing the concept of up-cycling the product packaging for decoration or storage purposes. Fore example, The Body Shop has recently launched a new line of vegan hair care and body butters; that are not only made of 95 per cent ingredients of natural origin but the packaging is made of recycled plastic that can further be recycled thus continuing the recycling system. Their makeup brushes also have wooden handles instead of plastic ones this adds to their classy appearance and use of ecofriendly material.
The Body Shop has recently launched a new line of vegan hair care and body butters; that are not only made of 95 per cent ingredients of natural origin but the packaging is made of recycled plastic. | Photo by Oli Dale on Unsplash
The above is a small snippet in a long list of things that can help contribute to a cleaner and more consciously lifestyle. Where demand increase, supply follows - as people begin to demand ethical, responsible production and products, more and more brands have begun to deliver. Household names such as The Body Shop have pioneered conversations on clean, green and sustainable beauty for decades - thus making them a frontrunner for several old time vegan people.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Beauty, makeup, clean, November, World Vegan month, New Standards , Vegan, Conscious
Designer Payal Singhal launched her first ever shop in New Delhi at Aza, Ambawatta One, Mehrauli. At this new location, she also unveiled "Suroor" her Winter Festive' 2021 collection for Women that stays true to the brand's DNA of deconstructing and reimagining traditional Indian silhouettes for the modern aesthete.
The collection is replete with hybrid lehenga with cut-outs, sharara sets, kaftan kurtas and anarkalis; all enhanced with intricate mukaish, zardozi, gota, nakshi, pitta and mirror work. Statement yokes, the latest take on the House's signature back-tie choli, and a new burst of #PSPrints are also an integral part of the collection. For the first time, Payal has worked with bandhanis developed in Jaipur, but with her inimitable twist - using the technique on tussar instead of silks. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Winter, Suroor, New Delhi, Designer, Payal Singhal, shop