Students share opinions on getting the COVID vaccine
By Katie Lackman
“ … I don’t know, I just get a weird vibe,” Junior Seneca Moore said.
COVID-19 has had an immense impact on all of our lives. COVID-19 has stopped school, sports, and other activities that kids look forward to every day.
Many people waited for the vaccine to get approved so that life could get back to normal. Over the past several months, there has been controversy over getting vaccinated. People are either for the vaccine, or very against it, there isn’t much in between.
Students have a variety of opinions and reasons on the vaccine and why they did or didn’t get it. The COVID-19 vaccine has been available to teens ages 16 and up since Aug. 23, and for ages of 12 to 15, the vaccine has been available since May 12. In the last month, children between the ages of five and 11 have been approved for the vaccine. About 25 percent of children from ages 12-13, 30 percent of ages 14-15, and 40 percent for ages 16-17 are vaccinated.
One of the biggest reasons people have chosen not to get the vaccine is out of concern for the side effects the vaccine may cause. Other reasons people are choosing to stay unvaccinated are that they don’t trust the government or the vaccine, or that they are going to wait and see if it is safe, or if it has had any negative side effects in those who choose to get it.
“For a lot of people, this topic is probably, you know, controversial, but I didn’t get it because I don’t know, I just get a weird vibe. And also, I’m doing fine without it, so that’s why I didn’t get it,” junior Seneca Moore said.
Many students were skeptical about getting the vaccine because vaccinated people can still get COVID-19. Studies conducted through John Hopkins medicine show that while people can still get COVID-19 while vaccinated, symptoms are much less severe and will most likely be very mild.
“No one can tell you in 60 years, you know, how it affects them medically… and apparently, you still can get it after you have the vaccine,” senior Lucas VanAntwerp said.
Several vaccines are already required in order for kids to attend school. These include tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, hepatitis-B, meningococcal conjugate, and varicella. Doctors say the key to a normal school year this year is widespread vaccination. At this point, the government does not require the COVID-19 vaccine for kids to go to school.
“[ I got vaccinated] so that life can get back to normal because I feel like it’s just like any other vaccine that you get. And without it, I feel like things will never be the same,” junior Abby Metzgar said.
Students have opinions on how much control the government should have over requiring vaccinations. Right now, employees working at any company with more than one hundred workers are required to have the COVID-19 vaccine, and any healthcare workers and federal workers are also required to be vaccinated. Although there is talk about different COVID-19 vaccine mandates relating to school, students do not need to be vaccinated to attend public school.
“ … [The government mandating COVID-19 vaccines for everyone], I feel like it could be a good thing, just kind of helping everybody take a step forward,” junior Kaylin Howard said.
A study conducted by the CDC shows that people who are not vaccinated and previously infected with COVID-19, are twice as likely to be reinfected with the virus than people who got vaccinated shortly after getting the virus. A majority of Michigan citizens support the government requiring students to be vaccinated to attend public schools; those against, however, are not willing to compromise.
“ I just don’t think that’s right… I just feel like that is too much government control,” VaAntwerp said.
Teacher and staff voices are just as important as student voices when it comes to the vaccine. While many teachers chose to get vaccinated in part because of their job, that doesn’t mean that teachers don’t have different opinions on the vaccine.
“Kids being vaccinated will be key to us returning to some sort of normal,” counselor John Conner said.
Hearing student voices and how they feel about the vaccine is important, but hearing how medical professionals feel about the vaccine is one of the most important things.
According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccine can keep people from getting or spreading the virus that causes COVID and can help you from getting severely ill if you do get COVID-19, and getting vaccinated will help protect people around you, especially people at an increased risk for severe illness.
The CDC states that all steps have been taken to ensure that the vaccine is safe and effective, and despite its rapid development, the vaccine has been developed using science that has been around for decades. The CDC ensures that the vaccine was not and is not an experiment and that it went through all of the required stages of critical trials and extensive testing and monitoring have been conducted to ensure its safety.
Metzgar said, “Covid is a very real and serious thing, and it has killed and affected so many people's lives, and needs to be taken seriously.”