Opinion: COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing should be mandatory for all students


Photo Courtesy: New york times

COVID-19 cases in California are up to 4.78 million and the deaths are about 69,955. Governor Newsom says, “We need to do more, we need to do better to reach out and make available more opportunities for people to get vaccinated and encourage them along the way.”

Cheyanne Jauregui, Editor in Chief

On October 1, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that students will be required to get the Covid-19 vaccination in an attempt to stop the rising death poll. This sparked outrage from those opposed to getting the vaccine which unfortunately led to the spread of misinformation once again.

I believe it is important that we avoid the spread of misinformation despite your stance on whether the vaccine should be mandatory or not. Like many others there are people that believe it should be voluntary, “I believe it shouldn’t be a mandate because everyone has their own personal beliefs about the vaccine” Reynaldo Jimenez said. Now, in my opinion, I believe students should have the choice between the vaccine or weekly testing, before making this decision for yourself I feel it is important to know all the facts and debunk all misinformation.

A common concern among those opposed to the vaccine is that it was made too fast resulting in it being unsafe to receive which is untrue. The CDC (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention) recommends you get the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible because “it is safe and effective.” 396 million Covid-19 vaccines have been given in the United States from December 14, 2020, to October 4, 2021. The vaccines despite being the fastest produced vaccine in history have undergone “the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S history.”

Adverse effects from the vaccine are actually extremely rare and the only potential reactions would be anaphylaxis and TTS (Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome). Anaphylaxis is a potential risk with all vaccines, not just this one. TTS has only been detected in the J&J/ Jansen vaccine but is too very rare and you also have the choice of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. All vaccines, medical procedures, and medicine (even ibuprofen) have potential risks. Ibuprofen also has a severe allergy warning that can lead to shock, skin reddening, rash, and blisters. It also gives a stomach bleeding warning and a heart attack and stroke warning and people do not go into hysteria over ibuprofen which I believe shows how politicized Covid-19 has become and the effect it has caused on peoples’ perception of the vaccine.

Although, since there are still potential adverse effects (TTS and Anaphylaxis) individuals should still get the choice to receive the vaccine, just like an individual gets the choice if they want a risky medical procedure performed on them. If an individual does decide not to receive the vaccine it should be required for the student to receive weekly testing. This provides the student with the choice on receiving this newly made vaccine while also providing another way to combat the virus (weekly testing).

For those debating on whether they want the vaccine or not due to the fear of the long-term side effects, it is important to be wary of misinformation. Long-term side effects have been declared by the CDC to be extremely unlikely. Side effects happen in the next six weeks of getting the vaccine but our medical professionals knew this and the FDA itself made it mandatory for each vaccine from all brands to have their vaccine studied for two months after getting the second dose. The CDC, FDA, and countless medical professionals with degrees in medicine have approved this vaccine.

Although, I do understand the concern coming from marginalized communities due to the horrifying history of human science experiments performed on people of color such as the American mustard gas testing on POC troops and the American Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments. This is why there should be a choice on receiving the vaccine or weekly testing. If Governor Newsom decides to implement the choice between a vaccine or weekly testing for students K-12, there needs to be testing stations on school grounds, on several designated days every week, to provide more accessibility for busy families that do not have the option to wait or drive to testing sites.

These vaccines save countless lives and stop the death poll from rising even more than it already has, “Vaccine mandates will help ensure the safety of our future generation of leaders while in one of the most important stages of our lives,” said Elias Guzman. As I do agree with these sentiments, I remain firm on the belief that the mandate should be receiving the vaccine OR weekly testing. People are losing their grandparents, parents, and children to this virus so we need to do everything thing we can without also taking away medical choices. Only when we have made all the possible steps to end this pandemic is when we can go back to normal. Normalcy is not possible without effort from everybody.

Fortunately, California does have a governor that has the intentions of minimizing the number of cases rising. He has caused California to be the first in the United States to require masks and require that all their staff be vaccinated and/or weekly tested. Although, Newsom’s intentions with making vaccination mandatory for all K-12 students should also include the choice of weekly testing for those against the vaccinations.