Forget COVID. University of Denver makes a different vaccine mandatory

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

If you’re not getting the sense that a new form of madness is sweeping the nation and it may be more contagious than COVID, you might be leading something of a sheltered life. Today’s story is indeed about yet another vaccine mandate, but it’s not associated with the novel coronavirus. Out at the University of Denver, school administrators are already making staff and students take saliva tests for COVID every nine days on top of providing proof of vaccination to attend classes in person. They currently have a less than 1% infection rate. But now they’re upping their game to the next level. Cold and flu season is approaching (as it does every year) and the school will now require proof of having been vaccinated against the flu. No… I’m not even kidding. (CBS Denver)

With cold and flu season approaching on Colorado University is requiring everyone on campus to get another vaccine shot. Earlier this month, health officials from the University of Denver announced they would require all students and staff to get a flu vaccine by mid-December.

“If history tells us anything, we expect it is very likely going to be a very aggressive flu season,” said Michael LaFarr the Executive Director of health and Counseling at DU. “It’s a part of our overall plan to protect our community. The health and wellbeing of our community.”

DU has had an aggressive policy against COVID-19 to keep students in the classroom. Students and staff are required to take a saliva test every nine days. Because of aggressive testing, coronavirus positivity has remained well below 1% this year. With similar symptoms between COVID and flu, the school said it would bring back the flu vaccine requirement this year.

The administration at the university is clearly so focused on maintaining a sense of panic that they will now issue mandates that have not been required by any level of government to try to prevent the possibility of any disease that even looks similar to COVID showing up. And if you do not comply you can go back to remote learning or just give up on your education.

Here are a couple of fun facts about the flu that some of you may not already know. During the 2019-2020 flu season (before the Pandemic kicked into gear) there were 107 children in America between the ages of 5 and 17 that died of the flu. 48% of them had serious underlying conditions that contributed to the severity of their cases. That’s 107 in a country of nearly 350 million people. And it was a record number of pediatric flu deaths. The average is below 100 and has been as low as 37.

Among adults, the lion’s share of flu deaths are seen among those 65 and older and people with chronic, underlying health conditions such as asthma, chronic heart disease, or HIV/AIDS. You would expect the average class of college students to be young and relatively healthy. The vast majority of them who catch the flu won’t miss more than a couple of days of classes.

So with that in mind, is this where we are heading as a country? Authorities of all stripes will be taking it upon themselves to mandate all manner of vaccinations and other medical procedures to avoid the risk of anyone dying? Over the course of the past year’s debates regarding vaccine mandates and immunity passports, one of the most common questions we’ve heard from skeptics ran along the following lines. When was the last time anyone where you work ever demanded to know if you’d had a flu vaccination unless you work in healthcare or are in the military? The answer for most of us is typically “never.”

We were also regularly scolded by our betters on cable news to “stop comparing COVID to the flu!” Because presumably COVID is supposed to be far worse. But now the University of Denver is going in the opposite direction and comparing the flu to COVID. This is the sort of thing that could develop legs and grow out of hand rapidly. Will we see the governors of California and New York making flu vaccinations mandatory for everyone next month? Perhaps a new type of detector will be produced that can swab your skin to see if you’ve applied hand sanitizer in the past hour. Those failing the test will be sent home to wait for their unemployment benefits information to arrive.

We’ve been dealing with the flu for all of living memory. Some years it gets pretty bad. Occasionally we see a pandemic of a new strain and a lot of people die. But somehow we seemed to always deal with it without having our rights infringed upon and our personal choices about our medical care removed from our control. It’s already gone past the point where this is all just too much. Do. Not. Comply.