For the Sake of Black People’s Health, We’re Mandating Coronavirus Vaccines for all our Medical Students

Opinion by Wayne A.I. Frederick, Valerie Montgomery Rice, David M. Carlisle and James E.K. Hildreth

Wayne A.I. Frederick is the president of Howard University; Valerie Montgomery Rice is the president of Morehouse School of Medicine; David M. Carlisle is the president of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; and James E.K. Hildreth is the president of Meharry Medical College.

As leaders of the nation’s only four historically Black medical schools, each of us has arrived at the same conclusion heading into the coming school year: We must do everything in our power to protect the next generation of Black doctors — starting by ensuring they are all vaccinated.

We have a lot of reasons to feel confident in our decision to mandate coronavirus vaccines for our students. As medical experts, we know that the vaccines have been thoroughly tested to ensure their safety and efficacy. No shortcuts were taken in the process of authorizing these vaccines for general use. The technology underpinning the vaccines’ development has been in the works for decades.

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