It’s Now or Never: Why CCSD should mandate the COVID-19 vaccine

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It has been 4 months since the return of in-person schooling in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As staff, students, and parents navigate back to the sense of normalcy, cases continue to rise along with the pressing concern of safety measures. Vaccines– a topic of ‘solution’ to reduce the growing numbers– has been an equally rising topic of controversy among students and adults alike.

Since the approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on August 30th, minors’ safety towards the virus has reached a new step. However, in lieu of a changing socio-political climate in our homes and the world, High School students’ choices to take the vaccine has come into play with factors outside the individual choice. The question that comes into play is whether or not Clark County School District (CCSD) should mandate the vaccine for ALL students. 

Given the current situation of a mixed climate in our homes and schools, CCSD should rightfully mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all students at least by the 2022-2023 school year. 

Student safety is the number one priority amongst all school districts. By mandating a vaccine for students in CCSD, immunity is nearly guaranteed. With a reduced rate of contacting COVID, the vaccine also protects loved ones in our own homes. According to the CDC, “…mRNA COVID-19 vaccines offer similar protection in real-world conditions as they have in clinical trial settings―reducing the risk of COVID-19, including severe illness by 90% or more, among people who are fully vaccinated.” 

According to the CDC, a vaccine is a “preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases.” It allows one’s immune system to create antibodies to better fight off a virus when it comes into contact.  

The quickness of the vaccine process, however, has created speculation on the long term effects it causes; leaving many parents and students left questioning about the long term safety of the vaccine itself. In order to combat the speculation, however, the district by next year, should also clarify to parents and students at home, on information about the vaccine. 

However, influence of opinion within our own homes, have countered the validity of the vaccine– all because it has become too politicized. The most common controversies surrounding the immunization include the rush of creating the vaccine–deem unsafe or ineffective because of it and that the side effects are dangerous and lethal, which are just part of the ongoing list.

 Parental beliefs, including religious and political views, are the top concern which influence the student’s own beliefs. Quickly implementing a new vaccine, as a requirement for students in schools, proposes conflicts that could arise in individual homes. This can not only contain parental retaliation against schools and the district, but can result in withdrawals within student enrollment. In this case, the district should also comply with providing awareness and information of preparation before the mandate. 

However, getting the vaccine as soon as possible within fair means should be the prioritized view. Afterall, students are already required for vaccines against Hepatitis, Chickenpox, Polio, and more before completing enrollment within K-12 CCSD. By adding the COVID vaccine into mandatory immunization, it’s just one extra minor step in enrollment. That being said however, it shall still remain compliant to accommodate those with exterior beliefs.  

Regarding the use of masks after acquiring the COVID-19 vaccine is an argument within speculation. The belief that they should not be worn after immunization due to it already having safety measures for the virus should not be a preferred choice. The easy accessibility of contracting COVID due to the thousands of students on campuses is to not be denied.