The mess that is a mandated vaccine

How the joy of having a COVID-19 vaccine has turned into a political debate

Image provided from Reuters

Alana Luman, Editor-in-Chief

Lately, especially between the Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z populations, our country has been very divided over the decisions made by our government. How our government has handled the COVID-19 crisis, the Black Lives Matter movement, Asian Hate, and an attempted coup of our nation’s capital has left our social media generations frustrated. These frustrations are being acted out on a daily basis with our own mini online wars. The left jabs at the right, the right jabs with the left, and then the moderates get caught up in the mess as well. Eventually, it all repeats itself. This self-destruction has been repeating itself for the past several months, and pretty much the entirety of 2020. Now, as a possibly mandated COVID-19 vaccine is being put on our (student) plate in order to return to in-person instruction in the fall, this mandate is going to create an absolute nightmare.

As we near the end of the Lincoln High school year, I have personally seen people begin to start slacking on COVID precautions. Maybe a mask starts to slip below the nose, maybe social distancing gets ignored, or handwashing is completely forgotten, but some of my fellow students now seem completely sick of having to follow the mandatory COVID safety guidelines. Everyone knows that my generation, Gen Z, is very outspoken and we have no problem in arguing over a topic. Creating a statewide mandate for the COVID-19 vaccine, would definitely stir the pot. There are going to be many Lincoln High School families who will want to bypass a mandate, so I am proposing a different idea.

Do not make the vaccine mandatory for returning to full in-person instruction. Rather, for those students who refuse to get the vaccine, they can either a) stay home from school and work online, (this would mean that athletes who do not vaccinate would not be allowed to participate in their sport), or b) they have to wear a mask, correctly, for the entire duration of being on campus (meals excluded). There are going to be students who also disagree with this proposal, but there needs to be a safe way to ensure the good health and safety of all Trojans on campus.

Plenty of faculty, staff and students have already received their two prescribed Pfizer vaccine shots. There have been very limited reactions to the vaccine with fever and chills being the most prominent side effects after receiving your second dose. Therefore, the anti-vaccinate community truly has no footing to successfully dodge the vaccine or the plan proposed above. As easy as it would be, I highly doubt there will be a mandated vaccination plan put in place by our state superintendent. Even if the local or national government somehow put it together, people would find a way around it. It is the same people who dodge the other vaccines such as the TDap and the MRR shots. Although I have more faith in my generation about doing what is best for them in terms of taking care of their health; regrettably we don’t exactly get to call the shots when it comes to our health.

On a final note, the FDA has just authorized the safe use of the COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 15. 16 year-olds and above have been able to get their vaccine since April 6 th . This is a great opportunity to have our entire 6th-12th graders vaccinated just in time for a safe summer. The tools (vaccine) for our school, our county, and our state to reach herd immunity are within our reach. After 15 months of having COVID-19 rule our lives, the opportunity is here to turn the tables. Ironically, if teenagers truly want to have their “regular” lives back with dances, proms, athletic events and travel, why are you not signing up for a shot? The science justifies the decision to get vaccinated. How great would it be to put this pandemic behind us and continue our pre-COVID lives?