The Vaccine Mandate Debate

Amelia Mandato, Staff Writer

Imagine you have just applied to your dream college. Your grades, your extracurricular activities, and your college essay are phenomenal and set you apart from the others. This college has everything you want and you are everything the college wants. Due to protocol, they ask you if you received the COVID-19 vaccine, but  because you decided that the coronavirus vaccine wasn’t something that you needed at this time, or perhaps maybe you already had the virus, you let them know that you are unvaccinated. Suddenly, this college no longer has any interest in you, your grades, your extracurricular activities, or even your college essay. Now–because you are no longer in the running–your dream school chooses someone whose grades, extracurricular activities, and college essay was sub-par–however they did receive the COVID-19 vaccination and you did not? What happens then? Unfortunately, this is not far off from the truth and it exists beyond school restrictions.  For example, unvaccinated people are restricted from participating in out of school activities, eating at restaurants, or attending concerts–leisure activities–but, should this practice be continued within the education system, let alone personal life? Although, yes, in schools there are vaccines that are required. However, one that is not is the flu shot.

The Influenza disease has been around for 103 years and has a vaccine that’s been around for 40 years, yet it’s death rate at most is .02% in America, according to the CDC (2017-2018). For a novel virus that has been around for just 2 years and has a vaccine for less than one year, according to CDC statistics, the Coronavirus death rate in America is .20% (2021) more than the flu and it has a 97-99.5% recovery rate! In fact, 13.9% of the American population has natural antibodies and 57% of the American population has vaccine antibodies, according to CDC statistics. This means that 70.9% of the American population is protected against the coronavirus and if we take the death rate and apply it to the 29.1% of the unprotected population (or the 96, 873, 251 people without any antibodies), this leaves 213,121 people at risk of death. This is only .06% of the entire US population.

Furthermore, why should we be weakening our immune systems by wearing a mask (specifically children and teens–who are least at risk). It has been argued that flu cases went down in 2020-2021 because of the use of masks, however this means that our immune systems are not being strengthened by the natural antibodies of the flu (or even the common cold), but only receiving weaker antibodies from vaccines or none at all. 

Overall, why, if the flu shot is not required for schools, is the COVID-19 vaccine being required and restrictive? The death rate and novelty of COVID-19 can only decrease as more people recover from the virus with or without the vaccine. And there are many possibilities to have a healthy recovery without a dose of the vaccine–such as vitamins, hydration, FDA approved/prescribed medicines from a doctor, and more. The focus of vaccinations should be for recovery not restriction all the way from everyday life, but especially within our education system.