College students versus COVID-19 vaccine

By Lerence Melton

Operation Warp Speed was created in May 2020 under the Trump administration to help with the creation and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The race was officially on for many companies as they started working tirelessly to develop a vaccine that could change the course of the pandemic.

Today, Operation Warp Speed is in full effect. Three vaccines have been created and millions have already received or are currently on a long waiting list to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the following vaccines have been approved for “emergency use”: Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, and Janssen Covid-19 vaccine (created by Johnson and Johnson, Inc.). Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots; the Janssen vaccine requires only one shot. 

The Mayo Clinic website states that the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death; the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective, and the Janssen vaccine is 85% effective. 

Getting the vaccine is important to many different people, especially college students, some of whom believe that receiving the vaccine is the first step to a possible return to in-person classes. 

College Pulse, a research company, polled 1,000 full-time and part-time students in January 2021. Their findings showed that seven in 10 students believe that colleges can and or should require COVID-19 vaccinations and that the vast majority of students are willing to get vaccinated.

Nevertheless, some college students remain skeptical.

DCCC science for health professions major Marquise Hayman, 31, said he is against receiving any of the three vaccines. “I just feel as though the vaccine was made too fast in my opinion,” Hayman said. “Plus, I don’t know any of the long-term effects of the vaccine.”

He believes for the pandemic to come to an end, all states need to be on the same page. For example, he believes states such as Texas, Mississippi, and Florida, cannot have a different mask mandate than states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

The Pfizer pharmaceutical campus in South San Francisco, California. (Dreamstime/TNS).

On the other hand, Lincoln University criminal justice major Cindy Anderson Parker, 23, believes that every student should get the vaccine. 

“I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I know online learning has been difficult since day one,” Parker said. “If receiving the vaccine is the step needed for students to return, I am all for it.”

Parker, Hayman, and students across the world may have different opinions on the vaccine, but one thing that they would agree on is that they want this pandemic to end. 

“Wi-Fi issues, Zoom, Microsoft teams, I am tired of it all,” Hayman said. “I miss that in-person class feeling and I miss when things were just normal.”

Contact Lerence Melton at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

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