Fierro explains trustees’ decision for COVID-19 vaccine mandate in ’22

Talon+Marks+managing+editor%2C+Vincent+Medina%2C+interviews+Cerritos+College+president%2C+Dr.+Jose+Fierro.+They+discuss+the+board+of+trustees+decision+to+implement+a+COVID-19+vaccine+mandate+on+Jan.+3%2C+2022.+

Vincent Medina

Talon Marks managing editor, Vincent Medina, interviews Cerritos College president, Dr. Jose Fierro. They discuss the board of trustees’ decision to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Jan. 3, 2022.

Vincent Medina, Managing Editor

Vincent: Hi Dr. Fierro. To those who are watching. My name is Vincent Medina I am the managing editor for Cerritos College Talon Marks, and today I’m joined by Cerritos College president, Dr. Jose Fierro. Today we’re going to be discussing the board trustees’ decision to implement a full COVID-19 vaccine mandate starting January 3, 2022. So, Dr. Fierro, thank you for taking the time to join me today. So, starting next month, Nov. 1, the college will be implementing a partial COVID-19 vaccine mandate, where if students and staff don’t want to get the vaccine, they can choose to submit weekly negative test results. So why did the board decide to implement the full vaccine mandate in January and not continue with the testing accommodation?

Dr. Fierro: So currently, the board policy is to have the vaccine and if you are not vaccinated, you can have the option of getting a negative test every week prior to campus attendance. Going forward starting on Jan. 3, the board is getting in alignment with multiple some of the requirements for the CSU and UCS, which is where all the students transfer that requires the students to be fully vaccinated. It’s also the recommendation from the CDC and the Department of Public Health.

Vince: So I understand, and so I’m going to go fix the view here. There we go! So some students and faculty have already started to push back against this decision. You were there, you saw some students and faculty had already started already threatening to sue the school, plan to leave. What do you have to say to those who are planning to do this in January?

Mr. Fierro: That is a reflection of I think, what is happening across the country and the state. Unfortunately, the vaccination issue has become, in many instances, a political issue. I’m not saying that this is the case for everyone, but unfortunately, it has become politicized. And I think that is making the conversation a little more difficult across different platforms not only at Cerritos College, but I mean, I think the level of polarization that we’re seeing across the country is reflective of some of those positions that many of us have taken in different instances. So I think, obviously, a good thing is that we continue to have conversations. The board has allowed exceptions on their current policies, where there may be medical or religious assumptions for the different groups to be able to utilize to make their decisions.

Vincent: Okay, so the only board member to go against the rest of the trustees was trustee Lewis. What are your thoughts on his decision to oppose the full vaccine mandate?

Dr. Fierro: I wouldn’t say that he voted against the board. He voted against a decision the board was making. They all have a great relationship. So I wouldn’t categorize that as voting against the board. It’s just simply emotion on a specific policy. And I have no doubt that he interprets the information and analyzes the information to the best extent of his abilities and voted accordingly with what he thought it was correct for the individuals he represents.

Vincent: Okay, Dr. Fierro thank you so much for taking the time to join me. For those of us who are watching and want more information, you can go to Talon Mark’s website or read my article, which covered the board when they implemented the full vaccine mandate in January 2022. So thanks very much Dr. Fierro for your time.

Dr. Fierro: Thank you, Vincent. Have a great evening.