As many colleges resumed in-person learning this fall for the first time since the pandemic hit, several schools issued COVID-19 vaccination requirements in an effort to slow virus spread on their campuses -- including some Michigan institutions. And a number of students are reportedly lying about their vaccination status to skirt such mandates.
A survey published by Intelligent.com found that of 1,250 unvaccinated students surveyed, 55% said they are lying about being vaccinated for the virus. The students surveyed reportedly attend a college or university that has issued a COVID vaccine mandate.
To get around the vaccine mandate, survey respondents said they falsified a medical or religious exemption for the vaccine, or lied through a verbal or written statement. Moreover, 46% say they created or purchased a fake vaccination card to show “proof” of vaccination.
Michigan college COVID vaccine mandates
In Michigan, multiple universities issued COVID vaccine requirements for on-campus students, including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University and Oakland University.
Last month, the University of Michigan said 91% of its students were fully vaccinated for the virus as of Aug. 25 -- just days before the university’s Aug. 30 vaccination deadline. The mandate was issued for all three of its campuses and at the university’s Michigan Medicine hospital.
Just last week, University of Michigan officials reported that COVID activity had begun to decrease on campus, with student cases and positivity rates on the decline as of Sept. 21. Officials said a total of 517 virus cases have been identified on U-M’s campus since Aug. 21, with 230 of those cases having been reported during September.
The State News reported on Sept. 7 that 88% of 600,000 Michigan State University students, faculty and staff indicated that they were fully vaccinated for COVID-19. The university received the 600,000 responses at the beginning of the month, weeks after it announced the vaccine requirement for on-campus students, staff and faculty, the student newspaper reports.
The university had more than 38,400 undergraduate students enrolled in the fall of 2020. It is unclear what percentage of the numbers reported on Sept. 7 are attributed to students.
Some schools, like Michigan State University, are not requiring students to show a vaccination card to prove their COVID vaccination status. Many schools said they were not concerned about the widespread use of fake vaccination cards, and that they felt confident about their ability to verify a person’s vaccination status.
It is unknown if any of the survey respondents attend Michigan schools.
Unvaccinated students lie about vax status in social settings
The survey also found that half of unvaccinated students lie about their vaccination status while in social settings.
According to the survey, 51% of unvaccinated students lie to their peers, saying they are vaccinated for COVID while in social settings. Majority of the students who responded -- 60% -- say they lie about their vaccination status to “avoid people with different opinions on the vaccine.” Respondents also said they lied to avoid pressure to get vaccinated, avoid being shamed and to avoid being excluded.
COVID-19 Discussion Forum:
Join our dedicated space to discuss the pandemic. You’re invited to share questions, experiences, insights and opinions.