Students prepare for vaccinations

These past 13 months have been wild. From a simple elongated winter break to a six-month quarantine to a full-blown pandemic and now the home stretch and damage control. Vaccines are the biggest part of damage control. Once everyone is vaccinated we can move forward in life and they are the key to killing off this pandemic. 

The proof? measles, whooping cough, polio, tetanus, the mumps, chickenpox, diphtheria, and dozens more. All were killed out by vaccines, so we have proof that vaccines work, so the question is are students getting vaccinated in 2021. 

The answer is, for the most part, yes. Let’s look at the data.

A Hi-Line poll showed that 72.2 percent of the student body plans to or has been vaccinated at this time. The student’s reasoning for getting vaccinated varies but is overall pretty sound. Ranging from a very simple reason like junior Caleb Eskelson’s reason (“Because vaccines make us safer and healthier”) to more valiant reasons like junior Charis Crozier’s reason (“So I can protect myself and those that can’t.”) all the way to sophomore Jesika Basurto’s reason of simply wanting to get back to normal (“Because I want to make sure I am protected against the virus and some variants, and I also want to go back to school and music lessons and my family to be safe. Herd Immunization is super important, and I am an online student, so being safe and vaccinated is important to me and my family.“) 

All are equally good and important reasons to get vaccinated. However, there is another 27.6 percent of the student body. 

The other 16% of the student body is less than ecstatic at the thought of getting vaccinated. For some, it isn’t their choice. Sadly, as minors, these students need parental consent to be vaccinated, and their parents are anti-vaxers. Student’s like junior Megan Chagdes said, “I want it, but my mom won’t let me yet.” 

It also seemed to be a running theme with sophomores at our school to be completely ignorant about how vaccines work or are too wrapped up in their hubris to be afraid. Some quotes prove this such as “I’m immune to COVID, COVID is scared of me,” and “NO, I am not taking a vaccine that is going to kills us 45 percdent effective u got to be dumb u think I am taking it at all,” and, of course, “I don’t think it’s necessary for me to get one at my healthy age. Especially not one that was developed in under a year and is already being recalled and paused. I believe the older generation is responsible for getting it themselves since they are the reason why we had to wear masks and whatnot, so once the vulnerable pop. gets it, then there would be no point for the younger healthy generation who has a 99.9 percent survival rate to continue wearing masks and social distancing!” 

Let’s focus on that last one especially. In the medical field, there is something called herd immunity. This means that the people who are most vulnerable to disease were unable to be vaccinated, so doctors vaccinated everyone around them, their herd so to speak; this then kept the cancer patients, NICU babies, and autoimmune compromised people safe. So, no, just vaccinating old people doesn’t work. We need to vaccinate everybody. The only exceptions are people who will die from the vaccine. 

And even if we did get all the older generation vaccinated, it doesn’t mean we could stop wearing masks because we can still get it and pass it along, meaning you have to get vaccinated. 

As for the quotes preceding that, there is no proof of those statistics anywhere on the CDC’s website, the only reliable source during any of this, and for the one above that, you are increasingly liable to die if you ignore safety protocols. The down-low on the vaccine is black and white. It is an mRNA-based vaccination, unlike the flu shot, and it doesn’t put any of the actual disease into your body. The following quote is directly from the CDC: 

“mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the ‘spike protein.’ 

“The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. First, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are given in the upper arm muscle. Once the instructions (mRNA) are inside the immune cells, the cells use them to make the protein piece. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them. Next, the cell displays the protein piece on its surface. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19. At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is those vaccinated gain this protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.” 

And if you have any doubts about mRNA vaccinations in general, here is their piece on that.

“mRNA vaccines have been held to the same rigorous safety and effectiveness standards

as all other types of vaccines in the United States. The only COVID-19 vaccines the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will make available for use in the United States (by approval or emergency use authorization) are those that meet these standards. Researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades. Interest has grown in these vaccines because they can be developed in a laboratory using readily available materials. This means the process can be standardized and scaled up, making vaccine development faster than traditional methods of making vaccines.

“mRNA vaccines have been studied before for flu, Zika, rabies, and cytomegalovirus (CMV). As soon as the necessary information about the virus that causes COVID-19 was available, scientists began designing the mRNA instructions for cells to build the unique spike protein into an mRNA vaccine.

“Future mRNA vaccine technology may allow for one vaccine to provide protection for multiple diseases, thus decreasing the number of shots needed for protection against common vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Beyond vaccines, cancer research has used mRNA to trigger the immune system to target specific cancer cells.” 

Finally, for everyone who is saying they do not wish to be vaccinated because it is “experimental,” every vaccine you have ever gotten has been experimental. Vaccines adapt because viruses and science adapt. 

In 2005 we all got a new experimental version of the chickenpox vaccine, and we were fine, We all received a new experimental version of the flu shot in 2016, and in 2017 the point is vaccines are always experimental because they are experiments. A vaccine is never going to be a cure; it’s purely a shield, and when the old shield doesn’t work anymore, we make a new one that we have to test out. For now, we need to do all we can to protect our friends and family. 

Too many people have died already; too many medical professionals have had to work countless hours only for someone to die in their literal arms. 

So book an appointment and please get vaccinated. Help end this suffering.

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