Mandating COVID-19 vaccine for public schools

Americans have been split on their views towards vaccinations for centuries as anti-vaccination leagues can be traced to the mid-1800s.  These leagues have progressed from public art depicting fears of vaccines to people posting their fears or doubts on social media. We call these people “Anti-Vaxxers” and they are why America likely won’t see normalcy for at least another year. Nowadays, Covid-19 has turned into a political weapon for both Republicans and Democrats. The Covid-19 vaccine was used for alt-right news sources such as Newsmax and OAN to make outrageous claims about the legitimacy and effectiveness of the vaccine. There are Americans who are claiming that the vaccine is a plan for the liberal left to microchip its citizens and gain communist control over Americans that way. Democrats are feeding into the political side of medicine rather than educating the uneducated about the safety of the vaccine. This is causing more and more pushback from both sides and has created insane conspiracy theories as a result.  It should be noted that there are some side effects and other information unknown to us about the covid-19 vaccine and for someone to be worried about it makes sense. Since there is so much false information regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, many Americans are refusing it altogether. It is not yet a requirement to be vaccinated to go to school or to enter certain government buildings, but it is required to travel internationally. While I can’t tell everyone to get vaccinated this second, I can say that mandating this vaccine that has been proven safe by the FDA specifically in schools would help push us further along on our path to regain our lives post-pandemic. The CDC recently declared those who are double vaccinated safe to be able to take off their masks in places that will allow it indoors or outdoors. If this vaccine was to be mandated in all D214 schools, just like meningitis, or other required vaccines, the school’s health-compromised students would be able to return to school with peace of mind knowing that they are at much less of a risk when they enter the building. They already mandate certain vaccines so what makes the covid-19 vaccine different? The vaccination is not advertised as a foolproof shot that will make it impossible for you to get covid-19 ever again, and that is what Americans are afraid of. They think they will get a vaccine for nothing and then have something bad happen to them. The vaccine lowers the risk of contracting covid-19 and the Pfizer vaccination has proven effective 95% of the time according to the CDC as opposed to the 40-60% of effectiveness from the flu vaccine commonly compared to the covid-19 vaccine. Since the flu vaccination is not required to be registered with the school, the Covid-19 vaccine should be because of its high rate of effectiveness and that another outbreak would be horrible for our community. If there are a few cases, it would be much more manageable than to have the entire school exposed to the virus.  Since the vaccine lowers the chances of infection, this would be beneficial for a school setting where people are always crowded and packed into classrooms and hallways like sardines. Also that as young students, we are less likely to have symptoms but since we would be discontinuing social distancing and the virus could be passed onto older members of the community. We cannot risk public health anymore and this vaccination would help rebuild our school setting into a safe place for students to effectively learn. There is a lot of time between now and the start of next school year to get a vaccine and to do more research on it. Hopefully, we as a district will recognize that the vaccine can benefit our community and bring us back to our daily lives.

 

CDC Information – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html