Should the COVID Vaccine be Mandated?

Sydney McCall | Staff Writer

While vaccine mandates continue to be a national debate, signs show that current vaccine mandates are working. 

COVID-19 has affected more than 44 million people in the U.S. and taken more than 700,000 lives, according to official Center for Disease Control and Prevention data. When the Coronavirus first appeared in March 2020, everyone wished for an easy solution to end it. Now that it is here, many people are skeptical, which is confusing. 

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is 95 percent effective against the coronavirus, according to the CDC. Additionally, if one does happen to catch the virus after being fully vaccinated, they are less likely to develop severe illness or death. So why do so many people have reservations?

Social media has spread much misinformation about the vaccine. Some say there is a microchip inside of it that allows the government to track its citizens. Others say the vaccine causes infertility. Some anti-vaxxers even claim that the vaccine can turn one into a zombie, as if that is physically possible. 

Vaccines are not a new concept. As an American citizen, one receives several vaccines throughout their childhood. Polio, hepatitis B, tetanus, and chickenpox are just some examples of life-threatening diseases that have practically been eliminated in our country because of vaccines. 

The COVID-19 vaccine saved more than 140,000 lives over the first five months of 2021, according to a study by Sumedha Gupta published by Health Affairs. In New York, vaccinations led to 11.7 fewer COVID deaths per 10,000 people, according to Healthline. 

The efficacy of the COVID vaccine can also be seen at Hampton University. The COVID numbers at HU are very low because 97 percent of faculty and 98 percent of students are vaccinated, according to a Sept. 15 letter from the university.

Some students were on the fence about receiving the vaccine, but now that the campus can be fully open, they feel it was worth it. 

“I am just happy that I can be back with my friends at my Home by the Sea,” said Kendal Johnson, a second-year business major. “I feel like the vaccine made me feel safe. I am also protecting my older professors and staff here.”

It has been proven that the vaccine saves lives. It can help us get back to our everyday lives since so much normalcy has been taken away from us for almost two years now. Misinformation should not get in the way of saving the life of a parent, grandparent or friend. The vaccine should be mandated in spaces where one is exposed to other people to keep everyone safe.

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