Unvaccinated Clark Atlanta student may not be able to finish her master’s degree

ATLANTA — A Clark Atlanta University graduate student says she will not be getting the COVID-19 vaccine, a decision that could cost her the education of her dreams.

Clark Atlanta, along with Morehouse College and Spelman College, have made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all students, faculty and staff for the fall semester.

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The university told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington that the decision is not about offending anyone, but keeping staff and students safe.

Jasmine Ali moved from New Jersey to Atlanta just to get her master’s degree from Clark Atlanta, but now that may not happen, all because she is unvaccinated.

She says she hopes she can reach a compromise with the university.

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“It should be: ‘My body, my choice,’” she told Washington. “I’m willing to get tested. I’m willing to continue wearing my ask.”

Ali says she wants to see more research on the vaccine.

According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and reduce the risk of people spreading the virus.

Representatives with Clark Atlanta said there are some religious exemptions to not getting the vaccine.

In a statement, the university said, in part:

Clark Atlanta University’s decision to require its students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 aligns with our top priority to safeguard the health and well-being of the CAU community. We will continue to allow our decisions to be shaped by public health guidance and the prevailing science about the effectiveness of vaccinations.

Other universities, like Duke and Brown, have similar vaccination requirements. Those universities say they want to reach herd immunity to get their students safe and relax some remaining COVID-19 protocols.

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Ali is considering some other universities that don’t have vaccination requirements.

“Get accepted, take tests, find the money to continue my education,” she said.

Ali told Washington she is still communicating with Clark Atlanta about her future at the university.