Cougars’ views on vaccines

By Tiffany He, Clarion Staff reporter

According to Our World in Data (October 12, 2021), 57% of the U.S. population is vaccinated against COVID 19, up from less than 1% in January, two months before the vaccine was more widely available. But as the number increases for people who are vaccinated, opposing public opinions on the vaccine persist, and even intensify.

At Kennedy, The Clarion surveyed students at random about their vaccination status and opinions about the vaccine. Out of 30 participants, the majority are vaccinated, while two people responded with having an unvaccinated status. 

One of the students said, “I don’t trust [the vaccine] yet, and my parents don’t fully agree with it yet.” 

Parents’ concerns about the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine and whether it has been tested enough had increased by around 10% between June and September, according to a Covid States Project–the collaboration between researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers.  

COVID testing centers await students in the main lobby of the JFK Auditorium, October 2021. Photo by Tiffany He

Side effects may affect  people’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days, while some people have no side effects at all.  Some common side effects, including fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea, are signs of the body developing immunity against the virus. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and the concern that a long-term health problem could follow the COVID-19 vaccination is extremely unlikely to follow. The vaccine is also free for everyone 12 years old and older.

Another factor for vaccine hesitancy is people’s political points of view. Proposals to mandate vaccination emerge as the public is recovering from the impact of the pandemic. At California State University, Sacramento, beginning on September 27, students who were unvaccinated or failed to report a medical or religious exemption were disenrolled from in-person courses. 

On October 12 , Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) approved an early COVID-19 vaccine mandate “to require vaccinations against COVID-19 for both staff and eligible students by November 30, 2021.”

With these changes happening, a Kennedy student echoed that the pandemic has been lasting for too long and we need major changes. However, another student who is vaccinated said not to “force vaccines. If you force vaccines, you are not helping by making vaccine status even more politicized.”

Further information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines: more updates on the vaccines in Sacramento County and COVID-19 dashboard in Sacramento County.

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