Unsure about the COVID-19 vaccine? Here is why we urge you to get it

Since COVID-19’s first cases in the U.S., infection rates and deaths have skyrocketed, affecting members of every community. With over 24 million cases and 398 thousand deaths, every state has had to be strict with preventative measures for the safety of its citizens. Throughout social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing, there has always been the looming hope of obtaining normalcy through a vaccine. 

The race for a vaccine has prompted the fastest creation of one in history. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have both been able to design vaccines that are over 94% effective with little to no significant side effects. Other companies such as Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Janssen, and Novavax are not far behind in their phase 3 clinical trials. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for patients 16 years and older, and the Moderna vaccine is supported for patients 18 and older. 

The Dial Editorial Board urges eligible members of the Hackley community to get the vaccine in order to achieve normalcy and the safest school and community environment. The vaccine is critical in stopping individuals from getting and spreading COVID-19 and is a necessary part in halting the pandemic for good. 

In addition to preventing the life-threatening complications of the disease, getting the vaccine ensures that our Hackley community is one step closer to returning to normal. Even though students in the community younger than 16 are not able to get the vaccine and the student age group has not yet been vaccinated, we look forward to both a larger distribution campaign and a wider range of companies developing vaccines that can accommodate a larger age range. 

Many individuals fear that the vaccine will make them sick, that the vaccine alters our DNA, or that the vaccine will not work against the new mutations of the virus. These fears have pushed many members of the public to believe that it is not safe or worth getting the vaccine. Additionally, many individuals fear and have had issues with trying to sign up for the vaccine.

“It was very chaotic just at the start because a lot of the websites weren’t working. You would get like two-thirds of the way through filling out all of your information, picking a day, and then it would crash and you would start back at square one,” said English Teacher Michael Canterino.

Despite issues signing up and hearing stories of appointments being canceled last minute, many individuals understand the importance of getting the vaccine and believe the science behind the vaccine is solid. It is clear that the benefits of having the vaccine vastly outweigh the technical issues with finding a way to get the vaccine.

“A bunch of people in my family are getting second shots this week so it wasn’t really a ‘did I feel comfortable getting it’. I kind of knew that I wanted it and I knew that people I trust in the medical field vouched for it,” said Mr. Canterino. 

None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain a live virus, making them incapable of getting anyone sick with the disease. The vaccine works by giving our cells the directions to make a “spike protein” that is found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus. The mRNA (the directions) are then followed so the cell can make the protein. Once the protein is made, our system recognizes a foreign presence and makes antibodies that prevent us from getting COVID-19. This means that the vaccine does not change or interact with our DNA in any way. All of the companies with vaccines widely available in the U.S. have reported that the COVID-19 mutations have not yet been able to ‘outsmart’ the vaccine

After months of living in a pandemic, we now have the opportunity to act as a part of the solution and end the pandemic. In an effort to obtain normalcy within the Hackley community, we urge everyone to get the vaccine. By being a part of the community, we urge every member to do their part in keeping the campus safe and able to stay in person. In order to protect your and the community’s health, we strongly urge community members to get the vaccine.