Students Voice Their Viewpoint Over the COVID-19 Vaccine

Lily House, Journalism 1 reporter

COVID-19. What started out as one unidentifiable case brought a deadly world-wide pandemic, resulting in the announcement of public mandates and the development of new vaccines. As a new idea to all, the vaccine led many to question whether by receiving it, would they be making the right decision?

On Dec. 11, 2020, the use of the first vaccine officially became available for ages 16+, which gave rise to vaccination centers and locations. Less than a year later, on May 10, 2021, it became approved for ages 12+, permitting the use of the vaccine for nearly 17 million more adolescents in the U.S.

“I just turned 12, so it’s like perfect, it’s the right time to get (it) because I have to be that old to do it,” sixth grade student Matthew House said. “I’m just glad I got it to be honest.”

After receiving his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, Matthew House said he remains a little concerned about the side-effects that may come with his second shot.

“I’m kind of just waiting to get it over with and then seeing how it reacts the second day because all my family members, so far, have gotten sick from it besides my dad,” Matthew House said.

Apart from middle schools, more than 800 colleges and universities have required vaccination mandates for their students and staff to be able to return on campus. Jonathan House, a student attending his first year at Missouri S&T, Rolla, doesn’t have a vaccination mandate policy, but it’s encouraged.

“I agree with the policy,” Jonathan House said. “I agree it’s important to take action in preventing, whether that would be through vaccinations or wear your mask or social distancing.”

All eight of his roommates, including him, have had positive experiences after getting fully vaccinated. By taking this precaution, it ensured an extra measure of protection within his dorm.

“It’s important to play your role and contribute to that percentage to help stop the spread of covid,” Jonathan House said.

Every day, as more people contribute to the overall vaccination percentage, some remain unable to receive it due to young age and/or medical conditions. Sophomore Ashley Eitel said she got the vaccine because she didn’t want her family or herself to catch COVID-19, especially since her brother with special needs is ineligible to get vaccinated.

“The decision that made me feel it was right to get the vaccine was just to think about other people,” Eitel said.

The reason for getting the vaccine varies among different people based upon their current situations and personal morals. With opposing sides to the COVID-19 vaccine, businesses and companies are one of these groups caught between making the best decision for both their customers and employees.

“If you own a business or if you own a company and you choose to change a mandate to have all your employees vaccinated, I think that’s completely your decision, you own that,” sophomore Lyndsey Robinette said. “You’ll have to be ready, not everyone is going to agree with you, and your consequences arise from that.”

After hearing from different people’s opinions on the vaccine, Robinette said she made her own opinion and as of right now, still isn’t quite sure about a few things on it, including its long-term effects and if the information presented on the news is truly reliable.

“If you feel safer receiving it, by all means do that,” Robinette said. “If you feel safer maybe waiting or just choosing not to, again, more power to you.”