Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is the first university in the state to join President Joe Biden’s “COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge.” MTSU announced their decision on Thursday.
Since MTSU made their announcement, East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and Lane College have also joined the COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge. MTSU President Sidney McPhee said that the vaccinations were just another common sense step to control COVID-19.
“As we prepare to return to a more normal level of in-person campus activity this fall, it’s important to remember that the pandemic is not over and that we must all continue to be vigilant and take common sense steps to bring this virus under further control,” said McPhee. “MTSU is proud to join the many other college campuses around the country in doing our part to encourage our community to get vaccinated.”
MTSU made their decision around the time that the CDC announced an emergency meeting to address heart inflammation reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC reportedly received at least 789 preliminary reports of heart inflammation (myocarditis and pericarditis) from both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. During an advisory committee meeting on Thursday, CDC officials noted that the median age for these reports was younger, and that more males were reported with symptoms than females. The CDC noted that the number of reports outweighed what they’d expected.
Heart inflammation occurs when the muscle or lining in the heart becomes inflamed, leading to a range of symptoms including chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. It can lead to more serious complications like heart failure, heart attack, stroke, permanent damage resulting in arrhythmias, or sudden cardiac death.
The CDC will hold the emergency meeting to address these reports next week.
Unlike Vanderbilt University, Maryville College, and Rhodes College (only with FDA approval of the vaccine), MTSU hasn’t mandated the vaccine for the fall. None of the three colleges mandating the vaccine have joined the challenge.
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