Opinion: Vaccinations for a Better World

The only way to truly return to normal will be through an extensive vaccination effort, and that includes teens.


Lauren Burchell, Staff Writer

With the arrival of the opportunity for high school students to be vaccinated, CB West students should go out to receive their injections as quickly as possible. The Pfizer vaccine is cleared for anyone ages 12 and up, while the Johnson and Johnson vaccine can be used by anyone 18 and up. High school students who were previously limited by their age now have the chance to get vaccinated. Though they have the ability, many are choosing not to get it or to delay their vaccinations. Here’s why they should get the vaccine ASAP.

Some teenagers may think that if they do get the disease, it’s not a big enough deal to bother them. They may feel like they’re young and invincible. However, COVID-19 is a serious illness and can have long-lasting effects, even for young people. Students can be forced to miss school, work, and sports because of contracting COVID-19 as well. They’ll lose out on important opportunities if they get the disease.

Students may also interact with those who are more vulnerable and could experience worse symptoms of COVID-19 if infected. Passing the illness onto a loved one who may be immunocompromised or elderly can have dangerous consequences. These people are often more affected by the disease and have a higher chance of being hospitalized or dying. It’s not fair to someone who is more vulnerable and has been following every necessary precaution to become seriously ill just because one of their family members or friends acted irresponsibly. If everyone does their part to get vaccinated and follow restrictions, those who are most vulnerable will be protected. It’s a shared responsibility.

High school students love to congregate. They often throw parties or hang out in large groups of friends. These meetings are perfect storms for COVID-19 to spread. Many unvaccinated kids, with few to no masks present, could be a recipe for disaster. Getting vaccinated will help limit the spread of the disease. The students have the chance to stop the spread among themselves. Soon, students can gather safely with little restrictions. If they don’t get vaccinated, however, restrictions can’t be lifted.

The things that students love most are continually prohibited due to their choice not to be vaccinated. If students like attending parties, spending weekends at the beach, cheering at sports games, or watching plays, they need to get vaccinated. Getting their shots as soon as possible means they’re one step closer to the world opening up again. Delaying the process only lengthens the distance between them and what they miss from life pre-pandemic. Restrictions will be eased as more people become fully vaccinated. There is no work-around; the students must get vaccinated to be part of the effort.