Chelsea Sookra, Staff Writer |
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been opposition to the vaccine. Many people don’t want to put something foreign in their bodies. They don’t think they need it, or they believe COVID-19 simply is just a cold, and if they get it, they’ll be fine. However, I think that’s incredibly selfish.
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe. Scientists have been working for years to develop a vaccine against coronaviruses (if you remember SARS). Their knowledge gained from looking at past illnesses related to our current COVID-19 strains helped them quickly formulate the vaccine in our current state of emergency. The vaccine has also completed all three phases of clinical trials. All three vaccines have met the FDA’s safety and effectiveness standards for Emergency Use Authorizations. The FDA has granted the Pfizer vaccine full approval.
The COVID-19 vaccine is effective against hospitalizations and dying from COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine is at 95% efficacy, the Moderna is at 94% efficacy, and Johnson and Johnson is at 66% efficacy. While you still may get infected with COVID while being vaccinated, you’re less likely to get infected and you’re less likely to have long-term symptoms such as loss of taste and smell.
In all 50 U.S. States, it is mandatory for children over five to receive vaccinations prior to enrollment in state-licensed public schools. These vaccines are the following: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella, hepatitis A and B, Hib, and PCV. Without these vaccines, children could be exposed to serious health consequences and long-term issues. Having the COVID-19 vaccine be mandatory for school only ensures children do not have to worry about long-term effects from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccine is important for us to get back to our old way of life. The pandemic was unexpected for all of us. We spent a year and a half of school online without social interaction and we have to wear a mask wherever we go (that gives us a lot of mask acne). We all remember last fall’s shut down and all of us thought we would shut down again. Thankfully with students receiving the vaccine and wearing masks, we prevented a spread. The vaccine brings us one step closer to our normal lives pre-COVID where we didn’t have to wear masks and quarantine if we felt ill.
Without vaccines, we may not have had the life we have today. When polio broke out in the United States in the 1940s, those infected had to be in an iron lung and many had disabilities for life. Over 35,000 people suffered from disabilities a year during the polio outbreak. The first polio vaccine was available in 1955 and the United States has been polio-free since 1979. Since the Global Polio Eradication was formed, polio cases have decreased 99% and over 16 million people have been saved from paralysis due to polio.
We need a vaccine mandate because if we all get vaccinated, we will develop immunity to COVID strains. The population developing immunity means we can get back to our normal lives.