COVID: To Vaccinate or Not?


Julia Pimmel, Contributor

Though vaccines have always been a topic of heated debate, during the COVID pandemic, the topic of vaccinations and whether or not to get them has skyrocketed. Many people have issues with vaccines, even though some of the stances don’t come from sound science, like anti-vaxxers saying vaccines cause a genetic disorder. Other people have genuine concerns about vaccines and what can happen after you take them. 

The anti-vaxx movement has been steadily increasing in recent years, causing a comeback of mumps from 2015 to 2017 which is a disease that we can prevent by taking a vaccine. There was also a measles outbreak in 2019, yet another preventable disease. There are some genuine reasons not to take vaccines, like serious allergies, having certain disorders, or in some cases being pregnant when scheduled to have a vaccine. Other anti-vaxx stances have no holding on sound science and should not be taken seriously.

You may be wondering, “why are people so reluctant to take a vaccine in the middle of a pandemic?”and “is the vaccine actually safe?” Many people have had concerns about how quickly the vaccine was created, only starting production with Operation Warp Speed on March 30th, 2020. Testing and approval for vaccines is a long process that can take up to 10-15 years, so how can we trust one that has only been around for 10 months? The COVID vaccine has undergone the same testing and approval process as all the other vaccines we have access to today, so it is safe to take. 

There are some drawbacks to it though, as there are for most things. The vaccine is a series of shots that you get at different times, but it is actually possible to contract COVID, even if you’ve already had your first round of shots. But, this doesn’t mean that it’s ineffective. When you get both shots, you are less likely to end up in a hospital with life-threatening COVID-19. It seems silly to me that people would put others’ safety and health at risk just because they don’t know what’s in the vaccine. Many people don’t even look at the ingredients in their food.

Throughout 2020 and even in the early days of 2021, many people have been disregarding the CDC guidelines, causing COVID cases to rise and strain our healthcare system. But, if people get the vaccine and still disregard safety precautions, at least they’ll be doing less damage. Taking the COVID vaccine is the CDC-recommended way –  other than wearing a mask and social distancing – to slow the spread of this deadly virus.