Eye of the Editors: Vaccinations required for in-person learning


Everyone aged 12 and up is eligible for the vaccine, with 123 million people in the United States already fully vaccinated and the seven-day average number of COVID-19 cases dropping 85.8 percent since this January. In order to ensure the safety of Diamond Bar High School staff and students, it should be a requirement for both teachers and students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus for in-person learning. 

Mostif not allstudents are eager to return to normalcy, which includes resuming in-person instruction five days a week. In order to keep students and staff safe, every time there is a new case on campus, everyone who has been in contact with the patient will have to stay at home for two weeks. 

Not only is this very inconvenient, but it is also dangerous for students who live with high-risk family members and have to worry about spreading COVID-19 to them every time a new case is reported. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if students have been vaccinated, they won’t have to quarantine if exposed to the virus, allowing for school to continue normally without constant disruptions. Not to mention that if most or all students are vaccinated, there is a very low chance of any new infections occurring to even begin with.

Some students are choosing not to get vaccinated for a variety of different reasons, including mistrust of the vaccine itself, having anti-vax parents or even mere laziness. One of the most common excuses is that there’s still a small possibility they may get COVID-19 after being vaccinated, which is referred to as a “vaccine breakthrough case”but this does not mean that the vaccine is useless or ineffective. 

According to the CDC, if a vaccine breakthrough case occurs, symptoms will most likely be less severe, if there are any symptoms at all, and the risk of a fully vaccinated person dying from COVID-19 is significantly reduced. In this sense, the vaccine is like a seatbelt: using it won’t guarantee complete safety, but most people still do to avoid sustaining serious or fatal injuries if an accident does occur. Also similarly, many people think they don’t need to wear their seatbelts and endanger themselves, which is why a law is in place to require their usageand a similar such law should be in place for the COVID-19 vaccine, too.

On the other hand, some students do want the vaccine but are unable to because their parents won’t let them. Thus, by requiring every student and teacher to get vaccinated before returning to campus, these students have the opportunity to get vaccinated and stay as safe as possible. 

Considering that students are now spending time in-person with teachers during tutorial, a vaccine mandate should be instituted at least for teachers, so that younger students and those with anti-vax parents can be safe on campus even without the vaccine. In addition, older staff members are more susceptible to experiencing harsher symptoms of the virus, so a vaccine mandate would help protect them, even if they are hesitant to get vaccinated. 

Of course, it is important to note that students and teachers who are allergic to any components of the vaccine or who are immunocompromised to the extent that they cannot get vaccinated should obviously not be included in such a mandate. Nonetheless, this is yet another reason why those who are eligible to get the vaccine should take the opportunity, seeing as it will protect those who can’t through herd immunity.

A vaccine requirement isn’t a matter of control, but rather a matter of being selfless in order to protect those around you and be a part of a school-wide return to normalcy, once and for all.