Vaccine Views: Students’ Opinions on the Risks and Reliability of the Covid-19 Vaccine

When the COVID-19 vaccine was first being offered, many were quite hesitant to take it, but after almost a year of
creation, over half of the country is fully vaccinated. “I was always on board with the idea,” said junior Nadia Dunnum. “For me personally, my family and I have very weak respiratory systems; it’s a hereditary thing. I’d hate for one of us to bring it home and spread it to all of us, and I’d never forgive myself if that person was me.

“Getting vaccinated was the safest option for all of us because if we do happen to catch it, it will help us recover quicker and combat the virus better than we would without it.”

Since the approval of the Phizer-BioNTech Covid-19, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, there has been an increase in positive outlook pertaining to the vaccine. Many public work places have also started issuing vaccine mandates to combat the continuing cases and to help coax the unvaccinated population to subsume with the rest of the country.

Though this has sparked some outrage from the public, many people are viewing this situation as a responsible, necessary procedure.

“I personally think that right now mask mandates are more attainable and appropriate than vaccine mandates, but after time, they’re going to be the new norm,” said Dunnum. “If you attend a public school or job, you have to acknowledge that every day you leave your house and attend those sites, you are putting yourself and others at possible risk for contamination.

“Better to start this practice earlier than too late.”

In response to some of the unvaccinated population saying that vaccine mandates are a violation of their rights, the junior had this to say.

“I think that getting the vaccine is similar to that of the school dress code,” said Dunnum. “There are expectations put in place that help to protect us and we, as considerate people, should help push this agenda.”

Though fully vaccinated, the junior continued to advocate for the importance of social distancing and mask wearing despite being vaccinated to help combat this uncertain post-pandemic lifestyle.

NOTE: The student interviewed did not want their name used.

Many individuals are skeptical about the efficiency and effectiveness of the available Covid-19 vaccines. Junior
Johnathan Westberg* sees the vaccine as an unsafe, unproductive solution to countering Covid.

“Honestly speaking, there are no proven benefits to the vaccine other than a chance at combatting Covid-19 better,” said Westberg. “And even then, the vaccine comes with various after effects, especially for those with health concerns.”

Over the course of nearly a year, some people who have taken the vaccine have come forward with stories concerning side effects after receiving their shots.

“I’ve found more negative coverage on the vaccine than mainstream media is letting us in on,” said Westberg. “The media sugarcoats everything to cover up the overwhelmingly risky reality. People have reported severe sickness, swollen genitals, and allergy activation from taking the vaccine. I don’t trust the people making the vaccines nor those advocating for it.”

Recently President Joe Biden issued vaccination mandates for all government employees, which was met with mixed reactions from the general public.

“Nobody deserves to lose their job over a shot,” Westberg said.

“Deciding whether or not to take the vaccine is ultimately up to the people doing so. People deserve the opportunity to know what’s being put in their body and gather proper research instead of being coerced. It’s not a matter of what’s best for the country, but what’s best for you personally.”

The junior is firm on enforcing other precautions like social distancing and mask wearing to ensure the safety of those around him and his family.

“I just think there are plenty other ways to stay safe rather,” said Westberg. “If we follow the guidelines set in place at the beginning of lockdown, then we won’t even need to turn to questionable methods or force to get people to take the vaccine.”

* Not his real name