Vaccine Debate Rages as Cases Increase

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When the FDA approved the Pfizer and Biotech vaccine for emergency use against COVID-19, a debate sparked amongst society whether they should get it or not.

Like elsewhere in the world, that debate is great at Richmond High School. 

In the beginning months, many went to the vaccination centers reaching a peak of 3.4 million per day in mid-April. Now with three COVID vaccines approved that rate has been decreased to an average of 837,000 daily and in our county to an average of 100 daily.

The reasons people are not vaccinated vary greatly. Some do not think they are in danger but believe the vaccines help others. 

“I am not vaccinated because I do not think I need to be,” junior Lucas Pennybaker said. ‘’Vaccines are for all but are meant to be for old people or with health problems’’

Nonetheless, according to Yale Medicine people under 50 were 2.5 times more likely to become infected with the Delta variant and maybe it is more lethal to kids but it is not certain yet.

 “[I have been vaccinated] to protect others and not so much for myself,” sophomore Ethan Miller said.

  But the pace of the vaccine’s development has created some worries for its safety and make people suspicious.

 ‘’[The number of vaccines that have been developed] makes me suspicious because so many vaccines take a long time to be made and tested and this happened really fast,’’ junior Joshua Ilano said. 

While others are not allowed to make their own decision, but their parents decide for them.

“I am not vaccinated because my mom does not believe in vaccinations generally,” sophomore Amiya Mathis said. 

People are getting vaccinated considering their own safety, health and survival.

I have been vaccinated so my job won’t make me sick or possibly die,” Science teacher Robert Bailey said. 

  With all of that in mind, many states have mandated restrictions on unvaccinated people and companies are pressured to do the same but people are divided on this issue.

‘’There should not be restrictions on vaccinated people because everyone has a choice to be vaccinated,’’ Pennybaker said. 

The FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine and the possible one with the Moderna vaccine may soon cause an increase in vaccinated people. And maybe making it easier for states or services to make mandates.

“The FDA should fully authorize the COVID vaccines because a  lot of people do not trust them or that they do not do anything and it is just a waste of their time for nothing and that will persuade them’’ Miller said. 

But with the people that are vaccinated still not in safe levels and with that approval the mandates may be a solution not so far away or unwelcome.

Yes, I believe unvaccinated people should not be able to go to restaurants, attend large events like concerts and sports competitions, or fly on airplanes,’’ Bailey said. “If these restrictions were put in place, by private companies and not by the government, then the pandemic in the US would quickly come to an end. People would get vaccinated because they don’t want to live without those activities.”

With some not rejecting the idea of the vaccination they may not wait for the mandate. The approval of the FDA may be the boost they need to be vaccinated because with that they feel more safe than before

It is brand new and I do not trust it because we do not know much about it,” Ilano said ‘’When it is [fully] approved [by the CDC]  I will go and get it.’