With a current surge in COVID-19 cases and the introduction of new variants Delta and Omicron, the spread of COVID-19 finds itself as a common worry among people. As of 2021, multiple vaccines have been created to combat the virus. In further development, the vaccine has been approved for everyone five years of age and older.
The COVID-19 pandemic, seeing light in 2019, still holds many mysterious effects of the virus. The unknown long-term effects on contracting COVID-19 pose a serious threat to the health of those previously and currently infected.
The idea of a life-saving vaccine should bring relief, however to many, the vaccine holds skepticism.
Under the Biden administration, vaccine mandates are being pushed to help protect U.S. citizens from the virus. Even more so, certain businesses require employees to be vaccinated in response to staff shortages as workers call in sick or positive for COVID-19.
Many countries, including the United States require proof of vaccination for travel. Moreover, some foreign countries are seeing strict vaccine mandates and lockdowns implemented by their official governments. The U.S. is among the countries with the highest number of cases, Texas being among the highest cases statewide.
When evaluating opposition surrounding the vaccine, many question its effectiveness. No vaccine is 100%, however, the COVID-19 vaccine shows effectiveness in lessening the chance of hospitalization and even death.
In an article published by The Conversation, author Dr. Nicholas Johnson of emergency medicine and critical care at Haborview Medical Center states that over 95 percent of COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated. This has also been claimed by other doctors online as well. Although vaccinated patients can get the virus, they are less likely to be hospitalized than unvaccinated individuals.
The requirement of vaccines is not a new occurrence in education. Each state in the U.S. decides mandated vaccines for enrollment in childcare facilities and schools. Though not mandated federally, the implementation for vaccines such as the HPV and chickenpox vaccines are seen as necessary for educational and safety purposes.
On Jan. 5, Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec and Provost Ronald Hendrick released a COVID-19 update regarding spring semester. The statement addresses the opportunity to offer in-person, hybrid, or online classes based on instructor choice. Furthermore, additional testing and vaccination sites will be available.
Along with this, the Texas Tech Office of Communications & Marketing strongly recommends all employees to be vaccinated, seen on their website page concerning COVID-19.
Following this recommendation, Tech should focus on implementing vaccine mandates for eligible students and faculty. The importance of health and safety outweighs skepticism and false narrative surrounding the vaccine.
The start of a new semester is a clear breeding ground for the virus to spread, which can be opposed by the increase of vaccinated people at Tech. Protecting students and faculty from hospitalization or death can be done by vaccine mandates through Tech.
The chance of education should be done without fear of illness. Mandating the vaccine will allow students and faculty to exist at Tech in peace, alleviating the stress of getting sick.
In today’s pandemic world, taking the necessary precautions through vaccines and safety measures to help oneself and those around is vital in keeping a healthy world.