Opinion: My choice to stay unvaccinated


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Tyra Gutierrez, Staff Reporter

A couple of Sequoia high school students and staff members think our school would be a lot more safe if we are all vaccinated and believe it should be a requirement. Some members of the Sequoia community don’t mind if it’s required but also don’t  think of it as a bad idea. However, I believe our school can still be safe without vaccines and vaccines should not be required because we should have the choice of whether we want to be vaccinated. 

Some people agree with me and many disagree.  I think a vaccine should be an option for someone and shouldn’t be forced to get it if they don’t want to. If this vaccine protects you then the people who are vaccinated shouldn’t be worried because like they said you’re less likely to get COVID-19 if you’re vaccinated. It shouldn’t affect you if others aren’t vaccinated.

I talked to people about it such as sophomore Alex Francisco. He has not been vaccinated but he does believe if our whole school were vaccinated then we would all be in a safer environment. Francisco says he hasn’t been vaccinated only because he has been too busy to have time.  

“I personally think the vaccine is a good thing and I wish people would know more about it then just slandering it,” Francisco said. 

I agree with Francisco that the vaccine is a good thing for a lot of people.  I don’t think ¨slandering¨ is the proper word to say if someone doesn’t really trust the vaccine and are indecisive, at the moment I am indecisive on getting vaccinated or not because there’s just something  about myself telling me not to I feel like I can maybe make the decision to get vaccinated at some point but for the moment I don’t want to.

If our school required vaccines Francisco stated he would get vaccinated because it wouldn’t hurt him, it would only help him stay safe and keep everyone around him safe. He was a bit skeptical at first, but then he saw others getting vaccinated and they seemed fine so he began to trust it. 

“My first thoughts on the vaccine was should I get it now or should I wait to see what happens to others and how it reacts to them,” Francisco said. 

Sophomore Yael Galicia has not been vaccinated.  

“I  found it [the vaccine] unnecessary since doctors said being active is a way to avoid COVID, so I started being more active and staying healthy,” Galicia said. 

If you think it’s necessary to get vaccinated, you should. I choose to be active, and healthy with a high immune system with frequent COVID-19 testing. 

If our school requires vaccines he would get vaccinated reluctantly. 

“I know sooner or later it will become a requirement,”Galicia added. “But I don’t believe if everyone gets vaccinated our school will be safer because we can all still get covid with or without the vaccine.”

If the school did require vaccines I wouldn’t want to get vaccinated because I would be forced to get it.  I feel like at one point if I am free to choose when to get vaccinated maybe I will. It just has to grow on me, but at the moment I don’t feel like this vaccine is something for me.

I personally never trusted the vaccine even though the CDC gave us information about the vaccine and let us know how safe it is to be vaccinated. I don’t believe the flu shot protects me from the flu, it doesn’t affect me. Whenever I get a flu shot I get sick more often but when I don’t I rarely get sick. To me it’s unnecessary to get the vaccine just like it’s unnecessary for me to get the flu shot. 

 “I first thought it was just like a trial to see how humans would react to the vaccine,” said Galicia .  He has changed his mind about the vaccine and said, “My thoughts about it now are that now that it’s been around for a while it could be good for our personal health and for the wellbeing of others around us”. 

Deanne Torres Hernandez is another sophomore that has been vaccinated and believes vaccines are a way of staying healthy and safe from others and keeping others safe as well. When the vaccine first came out she was relieved

“My first thought was woah they finally got a cure, it took them long enough,”Torres Hernandez said. 

Hernandez was convinced to get vaccinated because her family wanted her to get vaccinated in order to go to school. She liked the idea because it kept her and her family safe, just like Francisco and Galicia. 

“I was convinced to get vaccinated because I believe it will keep my family safe and myself safe and for school too,”  Torres Hernandez said. “I feel like if everyone was vaccinated in our school then we would all be safer because we would all have a lower chance of getting COVID.” 

I agree with Torres Hernadez in that the vaccine keeps her family safe and Galacia and Fransisco and also believe this keeps everyone surrounding them safe. I see it differently, my family and I have never really seen the vaccine as a requirement and still don’t. A few of my family members are vaccinated but we don’t force each other to get vaccinated, I’ve told my mom. ¨I’m not getting vaccinated,¨ and she was completely ok with my decision.

Deblina Dutta, a biology teacher, thinks the vaccine is something that is really good for us and she felt really relieved and happy to know there was a vaccine to help us. Dutta feels that our school should require vaccines just like schools require regular vaccines.

“I was one of the early people to get vaccinated, I didnt feel sick for shot number 1 but for the second one I did get a little sick, but again totally worth it,” Dutta said.

Being a teacher and being around so many students does worry Dutta because she has her kids at home and she gets scared about anyone from school passing COVID-19 onto her which can lead to her children getting sick as well.

“It makes me feel nervous and angry that kids at Seqouia aren’t vaccinated mainly because of my children, if a kid is unvaccinated then they can transmit it to me and I could be a carrier and pass it on to my children.” 

I understand Dutta’s concern, and I do feel worried for any child, not just hers but for any child because I am aware they can’t get vaccinated, but I’m sure if Dutta is safe and everyone around her is being safe then her children will be safe. I would feel terrible if I got anyone sick but knowing I have a higher risk of getting sick and others sick I have been being safe and trying my hardest to keep everyone else safe. 

Dutta said, “If you’re going to be in a public institution with a bunch of people, you have to keep everyone safe, if someone is unwilling to do that then they need to figure out a new way to get education.” 

Lauran Cornell, a PE teacher, has gotten all 3 doses. 

“I felt relieved and overall excited to get vaccinated,” Cornell said.

Unlike Dutta, Cornell does not have an issue working with kids that aren’t vaccinated; she feels the school has done a great job with keeping everyone safe and having the rule about the masks indoors. 

“I haven’t had any issues with kids not having their masks on when needed, being vaccinated I do feel safe working with kids whether they are vaccinated or not. There have been vaccines that are required for school and I see the benefit in having the COVID vaccine required,” Cornell said.  “But I honestly think it’s up to the parents and what they feel is best for their child.” 

Our school has not made it clear that they will require vaccines. It has been said they were thinking about requiring it but they didn’t make it clear.

 I don’t think they should because people who want to get vaccinated will do so and people who don’t want to will obviously stay safe and keep others safe the most they can. Our school shouldn’t have to choose whether or not we should be vaccinated because we all have different beliefs and some of us and our families might be against the vaccine.