Up to a fifth of Northland Workforce Training Center students may refuse COVID vaccine

Northland Workforce Training Center officials say they could lose up to a fifth of their students during SUNY’s COVID-19 vaccine tenure.

The Buffalo School of Manufacturing and Clean Energy is expected to have around 312 students this semester, but around 60 have dropped out or failed to show up due to the state’s mandate that students receive at least one dose of the vaccine. by September 27.

“We think we’ve lost probably 30 out of about 180 incoming students and about 30 out of about 150 returning students,” President and CEO Stephen Tucker told WBFO on Thursday. “These numbers are not yet final because I think they have until the 27th to get vaccinated.”

The center, which opened in 2018, trains workers for the thousands of jobs opening up in the region, as retirements occur and new high-tech positions are created. created. It is managed in cooperation with Alfred State College and Erie Community College.

The Erie County Department of Health hosted a vaccination clinic in Northland on Thursday for students and the community.

Student Eric Shaffer was there to get his first shot. He said he only got the vaccine because he wanted a high-paying career as a pipeline welder after graduating from Northland. His request for a religious exemption was unsuccessful.

“Vaccinations in general, I’ve been against since I was a child,” he said. “When it comes to having to take it compulsorily, I think anyone with any previous health issues or over the age of 35, I would say, should definitely get the shot.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all people 12 years of age and older get vaccinated to protect against potentially serious complications from COVID-19.

Student Andrea DeBerry was at the clinic for her second injection. She said she needed to be vaccinated to go to school, but had mixed feelings if the vaccines became available for her 6-year-old daughter.

“With them doing it for ages 12 and up and just bringing it out, I’d like to see how it goes a little further,” she said. “And then once they get it for the little ones, I’d like to let this one stretch out a bit before my 6 year old does. That one I’m a little skeptical about, but she is at school.

Pfizer and BioNTech said this week that the first results of their trial indicate that their vaccine is safe for children aged 5 to 11 and establishes a strong antibody response against the virus.

Milton S. Rodgers

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