The vaccine is a sensitive subject to many people, but especially when talking about high-schoolers. There is much back and forth on the subject, and no one can seem to agree. Between the beliefs that these students are trying to form on their own and their parents’ opinions, school vaccine rates seem seem to be at a stand still. Some parents are forcing their kids to get the shot for their safety and other reasons, but there are also parents who aren’t allowing their kids to get it because they may have fears and questions about the vaccination. According to a September 3rd article published by the CDC: as of July 31, 2021, coverage with ≥1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine among adolescents aged 12–17 years was 42%, and 32% had completed the series. Series completion rates varied widely by state, ranging from 11% to 60%, and was 25% for adolescents aged 12–13 years, 30% for those aged 14–15 years, and 40% for those aged 16–17 years.” It seems apparent from this info that almost half of all teens in the United States have chosen to receive at least one dose of the vaccine, whether enthusiastically or reluctantly. The questions that many people are asking themselves is, will getting this vaccine actually end this pandemic and will there be aftereffects from this shot years down the line?
However, with the start of school in August, the numbers of Covid positive cases began to rise, particularly here at HHS as well as at other high schools in the Trumbull and Mahoning County areas. Parents are realizing more and more as their children experience greater exposure that the vaccine appears to be the best way to help their kids stay protected and keep the disease from spreading as much and potentially shutting things down.
When talking to many of the students in the school, a lot of them expressed different opinions from that of their parents. High School Junior Skylar Phibbs states, “I think that the vaccine is a good thing, but I don’t really care if I get it. However my parents are very against it, so I know I won’t.” Like many other teens, no matter his opinion on the subject, his parents wont allow it, making the choice not really his. Thus parental control makes it hard for many teens because it affects the activities they want to be involved in, and the continued spread of this disease is getting activities shut down or restricted.
While some parents and children are totally against the idea of the vaccine, others are all for it. They want their kids to stay protected, and they want to protect the people around them. Being open to getting the vaccine and stopping the spread allows students to continue group and contact sports without worrying about coming in down with the disease. Sophomore Peton Slovesko says, “I think that getting the vaccine is a good idea, especially for people who play sports. It’s another way to be cautious and keep activities from getting cancelled.” If more people take these precautions and stop fighting the vaccine, students may continue to move towards a more normal way of life, with hopefully no aftereffects in the future. But no matter how one considers it, to vaccinate or not has to be an individual choice. America prides itself on its qualities of individual rights and freedoms; therefore, this Covid vaccine has to fall under that category of one’s right to choose.