State school vaccine mandate on point

Addison Hwang 24’, Opinion Editor

At last, after remaining in our rooms for a whole year, we get full time, in-person learning! 

That is definitely how most of us felt when we heard the undoubtedly positive news, right? Sure, we get to finally appreciate the campus, hangout with new friends, see our teachers, and ultimately experience what high school is intended to be. But what about the source which put us in these unforeseen circumstances first? What about Covid and how are the schools handling the control of disease?

After being in quarantine for a little over a year now, Riordan, just like numerous other schools, have switched from distance to in-person learning. Being one of a thousand students here at Riordan, I know firsthand how this transition to make an attempt to get back to “normal” has come across. But, how do we really get back to what was once normal in a pandemic? 

Five days a week, six hours every day, students like me are surrounded by hundreds of other students, trying to take the best precautions we can. However, wiping down desks have stopped, directional walking lanes are gone, and social distancing is almost exempt. 

With a multitude of these factors being gone, risk plays the main role of viable contraction and spread of Covid. Alternatively, one way which ensures all of our safety is by getting a vaccine. 

Webster’s dictionary says a vaccine is “a preparation that is administered (as by injection) to stimulate the body’s immune response against a specific infectious agent or disease.” 

Today, we have four different vaccines mass produced, open to the public, free of charge distributed by both states and local communities to prevent Covid-19. At this time, we are still living in a pandemic, which clearly can put many into danger. To add on, we are now going to in-person school. As a result, being vaccinated is one of the safest bets for the safety of all students and faculty to more likely exterminate the spread of Covid. 

Why do they need to be mandatory in schools? Why should a school enforce anything on anyone? To show one perspective, multiple restaurants and public spaces in San Francisco such as the Westfield Mall food court and Il Castro Pizzeria & Mozzarella Bar, require mandatory verification of a vaccine in order to enter each space. 

Likewise, schools have been requiring proof regarding receiving vaccines for polio, DTaP, Td/Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis), MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae Type B), Hepatitis B, and Varicella (Chicken Pox) for decades. So, if other administrations have been proficient in keeping business going while getting rid of the possibility of Covid infection and schools already require the vaccination against countless other diseases, then why would the Covid vaccine be any different? 

I have come to realize that some people just do not feel safe or feel that there has been enough research on the Covid vaccines, thinking they could pose future dangers to people’s health. Understandably, my family was definitely skeptical at first hearing about these vaccines. We were unsure of the negative impacts the vaccines could have; however, after researching these vaccines, we found multiple health officials saying they are effective and safe. 

Nonetheless, there are still some parents who do not trust the vaccines, so although I think the Covid vaccines should be mandated in schools, there must be some sort of leeway for those who choose to not get the vaccine. Some possible options are getting tested every other day, constantly checking for any symptoms, and maybe even doing school from home through Zoom. 

Schools should mandate the Covid vaccine for all students going to in person school for the obvious protection of everyone’s beneficial safety and health. The ultimate reality of the truth is either being at more risk for catching Covid and possibly dying like the 716,000 other Americans, or being vaccinated and having 11 times less of a chance of getting Covid than those who remain unvaccinated.