Opposing views on student vaccination


Megan Westlund and Spartan Spin Illustrator

Students question whether the person sitting next to them is vaccinated.

By Simon Stewart, Reporter

“A vaccine is an injection of a biological agent that the body’s immune cells react to by building up an immunity, so after an exposure your body has a built in game plan to defeat the virus,” says former science teacher Jason Kalin. 

On September 23rd, the school started offering vaccines through the company AMI Expeditionary Healthcare. The first dose of the vaccine was given out in conference room 1035 in the Main Office. The second follow up vaccine was given out on Oct. 14. Students could register for the vaccine in the nurse’s office. Students under the age of 18 need parental consent.

“It’s a personal choice between the student and the family whether or not to get the vaccine,” says school nurse Alecia Radtke. 

Nationwide, the vaccine’s first emergency approval came from the Center for Disease Control on Dec. 11, 2020. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was then officially approved by the FDA on Aug. 23 for ages 16 and up. Ages 12-15 can still get the vaccine, but for those ages, the vaccine is still considered to be under emergency approval until it is officially approved.

“I believe everyone should be able to choose whether or not they want to get vaccinated because it’s their body, their choice,” says Senior Makayla McMeekin.

In a survey sent out to all SHS students, 180 of the 222 responses said they had been vaccinated. The top reasons for vaccination were people felt it was the right thing to do, they wanted to avoid getting sick, and they wanted to be able to see their families.

The other 42 of the surveyed students said they are not vaccinated because they are afraid of the unknown long term side effects due to limited testing, and they don’t want to get sick from the vaccine.

“I believe the vaccine is great for the people who are vulnerable to COVID-19, but I feel I’m healthy enough to the point where I don’t need it,” said Junior Wyatt Pahos.

“I’m for the vaccine but it’s been hard finding a place that will vaccinate me, and I’m not worried about catching COVID during football games, but I feel regardless of the circumstances, my chances of catching COVID are a lot higher than others who have been vaccinated,” says Senior Chancellor Davis, a non-vaccinated football player.

Pfizer’s latest announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine works for kids 5-11 years of age, and they are now seeking official FDA authorization for this age group.