Massapequa Students’ Take on the Vaccine Debate


For well over a year now, taking the necessary precautions against COVID-19 has been the new norm. Masks and social distancing are now the average social expectations. 

Over time, like most viruses, a vaccine was developed for the coronavirus. This development, however, split a whole population on how to continue preparing for the pandemic. People immediately jumped to one side, either pro or anti-vaccine, and this debate still rains down heavily on society today. Especially for school settings, the argument of whether or not the vaccine should be mandated for school access is ongoing. 

Despite all of the news reporting on this topic, little input was heard from a student’s perspective. Although students’ voices are not always listened to in the vaccine debate much in the media, the administration of vaccines affects every one of them. 

There is certainly a huge number of students that do not intend on getting the vaccine, the reason being that the vaccine was put out into the public too soon. Students, especially those in high school, are still young and have their whole lives ahead of them. The concern is that since the vaccine was put out so quickly, there was not enough research done to protect them from future long-term side effects. 

Furthermore, there is still widespread concern about the effects of the vaccine on infertility and heart illnesses. For students, seeing this news report is concerning. Not only this but students that advocate for their right for independence are sometimes put off by the idea of a mandate because then they are not given a decision of their own. They fear that a mandate encroaches on their own bodily decisions.

Of course, the idea of the mandate is to ensure the safety of everyone. However, even without a mandate, students feel as if they are pressured by society to get the vaccine, especially those in college. 

These students are also skeptical of the government’s decision to administer the vaccine and are unsure if they can truly trust this development. The idea is that this decision should be up to each person, and since there are many differing viewpoints, they should not always be expected to get a vaccine that was created under emergency circumstances.

However, there is also an opposite viewpoint: that the vaccine is necessary and that everyone should get it. The coronavirus is a very serious issue, and almost 700,000 deaths have been recorded. This tragedy is severe and very, very real. 

This is why some students feel that everyone should get the vaccine; it lowers the chances of contracting the virus for each vaccinated person and protects those around them as they are less likely to spread it. 

These students trust the extensive research that our public health experts have done and make it clear that the best way to combat this pandemic from getting any worse is to do their part and get the coronavirus vaccine. 

On a school campus, students can be cramped in certain situations. To still protect themselves and others from these situations, these students feel it is best to have the vaccine as an extra precaution. 

In addition to getting vaccinated, students believe that this will lead to a quicker transition into normal life once again so the pandemic can be put to rest while also ensuring everyone’s health. 

The idea is that the effects and symptoms that come from the COVID-19 vaccine are much better than actually experiencing the virus itself. To be safe on a campus filled with students that they may have never encountered before, they are willing to spend a few days with the short-term effects to be safer in the long run. 

In the end, the aforementioned fears or advocacies for the vaccine are valid and there will continue to be a debate around the coronavirus vaccine amongst students for years to come. Although both of these viewpoints are extremely different from each other, it can still be said that everyone is well aware of the dangers of the virus and how it affects their lives on a school campus every day.

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