Why Teenagers Should Get Vaccinated
By Jennifer Igbonoba
Vaccines and kids.
Two words that when mixed together can cause mass hysteria.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise, it is time to turn our attention to the younger citizens of our society. It is time to explain to teenagers why they should take the vaccine.
The first, and by far most obvious reason for taking the vaccine, is to slow the spread of the virus. Before vaccines were widely available to the American public, masks were used as a way to slow the spread due to COVID-19 being an airborne virus.
Now, with mask requirements being more lenient in Texas, vaccines serve as the tool to slow the spread of the virus and its more contagious variants; the most common one right now being the B.1.617.2 (Delta).
Historically speaking, the widespread use of vaccinations for a particular disease can significantly lower its transmission and, in the case of smallpox, eradicate it, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The second reason teens should get vaccinated is to protect those who are unvaccinated. At this stage in the pandemic and vaccine layout, it is easy to dismiss those who are unvaccinated as anti-vaxxing conspiracy theorists.
However, that is not always the case.
Currently in Texas, children under the age of 12 are not authorized to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which places them more at risk to contract the Delta variant.
Also, while not unauthorized to get the vaccine, people with less common underlying conditions like those allergic to certain ingredients in the mRNA vaccines may not be able to take the vaccine because the side effects could worsen their condition. In order to protect those who are medically not able to get vaccinated, widespread vaccination among those who can is important.
Finally, you must protect yourself.
When I talk to my peers, most tell me that because they have a lower chance of dying from the virus, they should not worry about or get the vaccine.
Despite that belief having a factual basis, according to reports from the CDC it does not put into context the long term effects of the virus.
While young teens are less likely to die from the virus compared to older adults, they are also just as likely to be asymptomatic and unaware they have the viral particles in their immune system.
The strain the virus puts on the immune system distracts it from defending the body against other minor illnesses which can cause those small illnesses to have a greater effect on the body than they usually do.
Throughout this pandemic, we have all missed out on typical American milestone events; like proms, graduations, birthday parties, and all the events we’ve been looking forward to pre-pandemic.
Now, we finally have a chance to return to a somewhat normal life by being safe and protecting those around us.
Together, we can all slowly limit the spread and potentially eradicate the virus, by simply getting vaccinated.
Jennifer Igbonoba is a senior at Rockwall High School in Rockwall, Texas and she is a Scripps Howard Foundation Emerging Journalists Intern with Texas Metro News.
Just Say No to the VACCINE
By Camarion Johnson
COVID-19 is the latest impending crisis that the entire world is experiencing.
Everything from gyms, restaurants and many other inside establishments are now reopening, however, they are requesting citizens be vaccinated in order to go inside.
Nonetheless, people that have already received the COVID vaccine are still catching the Delta variants.
By the end of each week, there are at least 137,783 COVID cases, and according to the CDC by the end of this year there will be 49,050,748 active cases of the variants across the United States.
This brings to question: Are we supposed to feel safe when the President of the United States says he will require “every living American” to be vaccinated? Are we supposed to [blindly] follow mandated guidelines while millions are still getting COVID; just hoping for the vaccine to work or for the opportunity to return to work?
According to the President, COVID-19 vaccinations help protect people from getting sick or severely ill with the virus. It is also said to help protect people around us, however, people who are fully vaccinated can still get sick because no vaccine is 100% effective.
Personally as a young adult, I believe we shouldn’t push ourselves or get our hopes up just to get them crushed because there are still people catching COVID.
Nonetheless, people’s loved ones still believe that the vaccine should be able to protect citizens from catching or causing someone else to catch the Delta variant.
In a recently released report by the CDC on the impact of COVID, more than 600,000 people in the United States have died from this national health crisis that has left more than enough damage. If we don’t get the vaccine, the Texas Travel Health Notice (THN) level can possibly become a level 4 of COVID-19 according to the CDC.
We can all agree that this virus is very unpredictable; causing the whole world to be on lockdown and panic in fear about what will come in the future.
COVID-19 in general is a lethal situation in billions of people’s lives, but many feel that the vaccine could be just as lethal.
While teens like myself want to become adults and provide for ourselves, we don’t believe we should have to get a shot or vaccine to get a job because it violates our free will and freedom of choice.
Many citizens around the world already feel like they are losing important time with loved ones that they can’t be made back up due to current COVID-19 guidelines. These restrictions are keeping people six feet apart from their goals, aspirations, families, and resources that could get many teens out of harsh environments and conditions.
A vaccine mandate and COVID-19 restrictions will only make it harder for teens like myself to be successful.
Camarion Johnson is a senior at Duncanville High School in Duncanville, Texas and he is a Scripps Howard Foundation Emerging Journalists Intern with Texas Metro News.