The Vaccine for COVID-19 Makes Its Way to Educators Throughout Michigan

Anna Sperry, Editor

After ten months, the infamous coronavirus has changed lives. In December, the country got notice of a vaccine that would make its way around the country, reaching health care workers first. Some think that the vaccine will not be effective and don’t want to get it. The opposing view is that it will help resolve the issue of the pandemic. Many are concerned about what will come with the vaccine, but others want to get the vaccine so the pandemic restrictions could be lifted sooner.

   “I have complete faith in its effectiveness and in the sincerity of the trial process,” junior Addie Nicolaou said. “I don’t see any cons to getting the vaccine besides the fact that it involves a needle.” 

   One of the reasons some are afraid of getting the vaccine is because it is one of the fastest vaccines to ever be produced. The average time for a vaccine to be developed after learning about a virus is 10 to 12 years. For Typhoid Fever, it took 29 years. The Influenza pandemic struck in 1918 but a successful vaccine wasn’t made until 1947. It only took about two years for a vaccine to be created for measles. 

   “The folks that developed these vaccines and the boards that challenged them and the federal organizations that approved them are all highly-trained people,” Principal Joe Esper said, “There’s no incentive for those people to certify something that isn’t safe or isn’t going to be effective.” 

   On the contrary, others have different thoughts and feelings towards the new vaccines and their trustworthiness

   Health problems could be the reason some people don’t get the vaccine. The vaccine can cause temporary side effects like headaches, arm aches, chills, or a fever. Some are afraid to get the vaccine because of possible long-term and pre-existing health concerns. 

   “I have cystic fibrosis (CF) and getting the vaccine is a little scary to me because it can cause anything for myself,” Parker said. “It hasn’t been used [by] a whole bunch of people, especially CF people. I don’t think it would affect me in a good way.”

“I have complete faith in its effectiveness and in the sincerity of the trial process,

— A. Nicolaou

   Though the vaccine is something brand new, it brings a feeling that many haven’t experienced at all during the span of the pandemic—optimism.

   “You just start to get that hope that next school year might look like a normal school year and a lot of the things outside of just what happens in-class time can start to come back to students,” Esper said. “Those cultural things that kids really remember about high school we’ve kind of missed out on for the last ten months.”

   At the beginning of the pandemic, the state of Michigan had shut down for two weeks prior to spring break. This was because they thought that a couple of weeks away from each other would lower the cases and ultimately the virus would have been taken care of within a short period of time. More than 300 days later, we’ve learned that it wasn’t that easy. 

    “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the pandemic [it] is not to make predictions,” Esper said. “When things started in March, I was reassuring a lot of people that June would be normal and we’d have [a normal] graduation for the class of 2020 seniors.” 

   According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 3.4 percent of Americans have already received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The order for who gets the vaccine first is determined by how susceptible someone is to getting coronavirus and how it would affect them. The first wave, 1A, was given to onsite healthcare workers and anyone in a long-term retirement home.    “When it becomes available, I’m definitely gonna take it,” Esper said. “And I’ll be in that same wave as any other educator.” 

   As more and more people in the 1A group get the vaccine, people in the 1B category can get it, even if all of 1A isn’t done. Those included in phase 1B are frontline essential workers like school staff and those who are 75 years old or more. 

    “Even though I’m their principal, I won’t be the first person at West Senior High to get it. Probably all of us in this group will be treated the same,” Esper said.

   The purpose of getting the vaccine is to get rid of coronavirus. Once someone gets the vaccine, they will be immune even if they haven’t gotten that virus before. Medicines treat diseases while vaccines prevent them. 

   “We as the American public have a civic duty as patriots and members of this democracy to protect our fellow citizens and maintain the public welfare,” Nicolaou said, “That can only be done if we unanimously accept the vaccination as a society.”