UI students share why they choose to get vaccinated

UI students discuss the importance of vaccinations for themselves, family, and the UI campus to ensure a third year of education is not missed.


Grace Smith

First-year Jenna Sackett poses with her vaccination card on the Pentacrest at the University of Iowa on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021.

Christine Valora, News Reporter

University of Iowa students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 have a variety of reasons for their decision — some to protect themselves or other high-risk individuals as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

University of Iowa first year Jenna Sackett said she got vaccinated this summer.

“I waited for a bit after they came out to see how it went, because I have a heart condition that we didn’t quite know what it was at the time, and I also couldn’t afford to miss a day of school,” she said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval for the Pfizer vaccine on Aug. 23, spurring some institutions and universities to start requiring COVID-19 vaccination.

RELATED: UIHC participates in various COVID-19 vaccine trials

The UI strongly recommends students to get vaccinated and wear masks indoors, but neither is required on campus. It also offers free COVID-19 vaccination clinics, and incentive programs, such as a $10 gift card for the downtown district for showing your COVID-19 vaccination card at the Iowa Memorial Union.

“I’m asking you, be part of our efforts to make sure that we’re all vaccinated, we’re wearing masks inside, and we’re staying healthy so we can keep on ground for the entire year,” UI President Barbara Wilson said at the UI Class of 2025 Convocation on Aug. 22.

Mary Brown, another UI freshman, said she is attending in-person classes this fall fully vaccinated, as she has a high-risk family member at home.

“Of course I was hesitant at first, but I think it is important to get vaccinated,” Brown said. “If not for yourself, then someone else.”

Johnson County has a 8.8 percent 7-day average positivity rate, slightly higher than the state’s overall 7-day average of 8 percent as of Aug. 24, according to the state coronavirus website.

UI freshman Anastacia Braslavsky said they opted to get vaccinated for the sake of other students’ health on campus.

“The vaccine was in the works even before COVID-19 and only recently got the incentive to be revisited and approved by the [FDA],” Braslavsky said. “Although some may argue that it may be experimental due to it being rushed, other treatments –– such as for Zika or Ebola –– were also rushed due to those diseases being an emergency.”

UI freshman Kailey Krigas is vaccinated, and said she feels like those on campus should all work to try to protect each other as much as possible.

“Masks or vaccines are the only way to do this if we want any kind of a ‘normal’ school year,” she said.