The Coronavirus Vaccine Must Not be Mandated in Public Schools


The first Covid-19 case was reported on Dec. 31, 2019, and since then, the disease has spread rapidly, resulting in a deadly pandemic. Now, new vaccines have been released that promise to prevent the spread of the virus. It should be a no-brainer to get vaccinated immediately, right? The answer: no. At such an early stage in its discovery, a vaccine poses too many risks and uncertainties. Therefore, people should avoid the vaccine until more research is conducted, and public schools must not mandate that students get vaccinated at this time.

Both the virus and the vaccine are unlike anything the world has ever seen before. Because of their newness, however, there are too many unknowns. Negative side effects have already been discovered to the vaccine, including fatigue, fever, headache, and aching limbs. “I am not completely sold on the vaccine,” said junior Aliyah Jaikaran. “People have already experienced a bunch of side effects, and there may be even more that doctors do not know of yet. I would be more comfortable getting it at a later date, with further research and testing,” added Jaikaran.

The New York Times article “Doctor’s Death After Covid Vaccine Is Being Investigated” reported that physician Gregory Michael contracted acute immune thrombocytopenia, a disease that prevents blood from clotting correctly, immediately after getting vaccinated. He died 16 days later. Although doctors still question whether the vaccine is related to Michael’s death, there have been about 29 reported cases of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, in patients who received the coronavirus vaccine.

The vaccine is exceptionally new, and, as stated, it may still have some unknown side effects. “It would be great if the coronavirus went away, but the vaccine does not seem that trustworthy as of right now,” said freshman Sharon Cipriani. It may not be entirely safe to receive the vaccine yet, which is why people should do extensive research to see if it is worth taking any possible risk. Junior Martin Lopez said, “I believe that people should not take the vaccine right now because there is a risk of getting sick from the side effects; some people have even died from it. I am not completely on one side, but much information is pointing towards not taking it.”

 Many Americans are also debating whether the vaccine should be required for public school students. However, the vaccine is far too new to tell if it is completely safe. Math teacher Maria Mantikas agreed, sharing that the lack of research on the vaccine’s effect on children worries her. 

“Other vaccines that are required for students have been around for many years, and there are years of data to tell us that they are safe and effective,” Mantikas said. “Very few people can get permission to not be vaccinated for those diseases. On the other hand, the flu and HPV vaccine are not mandated because they are also new. I think the Covid-19 vaccine should be treated the same way and not be mandated by schools,” added Mantikas.

Math teacher Mike Franklin has considered both sides of the argument. “I understand why vaccines should be mandatory to stop the spread of the virus so we can go back to living how we did before,” he said, “but I also understand why people believe that they have the freedom to choose if they want the vaccine or not, especially since the vaccine has not been proven 100 percent effective and we have no way of knowing the long-term effects it might have.”

 Although the vaccines promise about 95 percent effectiveness, it is too early to tell if this is a false promise. As of right now, the vaccine should be tested further before being deemed safe. There has not been enough time to tell if the vaccine has any long-term effects, since it has only been distributed to the public for a few months. For these reasons, the vaccine needs to be tested more and more extensive research needs to be conducted before schools begin to consider mandating it for their students.