In Favor of Vaccine Mandates in Schools

Ayat Harb, Reporter

**This is a student’s opinion on a hot topic. Please respect the author and refrain from rude criticisms.**

Since the pandemic began in 2020, many teachers and parents have observed as the Covid-19 pandemic has hurt children and their families physically and mentally. Because of the great risks the sickness causes for people of all ages, American schools have turned to shutting down educational opportunities for students. 

Shutting down schools means losing student involvement in the community, declining test scores, and mental health issues due to the isolation and confusion caused. This has already been seen by teachers and parents around the world, and it is clear that a better plan to resolve the pandemic is necessary. 

This plan should be a vaccine mandate to protect from the spread of the virus through school students. Whether it comes today or in a year, the Covid-19 vaccine is necessary and it is incredibly important to understand why.

Schools have been requiring vaccinations for many deadly and widespread diseases (such as chickenpox) since the mid-1800s. Now, the question of whether Covid vaccinations should be required or not has surfaced and the pros seem to outweigh the cons. 

One of the largest districts in America has already mandated the Covid vaccine be given to all students- the Los Angeles Unified School District. This decision has faced a lot of backlash from parents and students not able to return to school without the full vaccination. 

Politics have played a large part in spreading misinformation about the risks of the vaccine. According to politico.com, “Republican lawmakers in broad swaths of the country have proactively outlawed Covid-19 vaccine mandates for school children and college students. Those laws won’t be easy to unwind.” Parents should not be listening to their preferred leaders for facts; they should be researching through reliable scientists such as the CDC or the FDA.

Another common misconception is that there isn’t enough data collected to support the vaccine’s success, especially in kids. Many people believe a timely response would be much more successful than a sudden mandate. In Norway, prime minister Erna Solberg said, “For the time being, only a first dose will be offered, while a decision on whether to offer a second dose will be made at a later time.” By doing this, the country will not put students at risk while maintaining Covid protection. 

Vaccine mandates are supported by many scientists, but some argue that they shouldn’t be put into place until more data is available to comfort the general public. The Atlantic says, “no one can say yet whether a bout of vaccine-induced myocarditis now would harm someone’s health in a year, or 10 years, or 50.” This argument is valid, but the CDC’s data is constantly being updated and shows that issues result more commonly from Covid itself, rather than the vaccine. 

According to The Conversation, “the risk of post-vaccination myocarditis is 2.13 per 100,000, which is within the range usually seen in the general population.” On the other hand, Covid-19 has caused about 146 cases per 100,000 people affected by Covid. This data very clearly proves that parents should be concerned about protecting their children from the fast-spreading disease, rather than focusing on the low-risks from the vaccination. 

In schools particularly, Covid has caused students to miss too many days of school, due to shutdowns and quarantine. This can be avoided through a vaccine mandate. The vaccine has proved to decrease the long and short-term effects of Covid, as well as the transmission of the disease.

For all these reasons, the Covid-19 vaccine must be mandated in schools.