The vaccine mandate battle: should the science be taken seriously?



Teacher receives COVID-19 Vaccine after NJ Mandate.

Mackenzie Prince and Ronit Khromchenko

Since its introduction in early 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine has been a controversial issue in America. It has led to utter disregard of science from many people, demonstrating the true neglect that some have for others’ well being.

Since many have refused to get vaccinated, politicians throughout the United States have enacted mandates pertaining to vaccination status. In early September, President Joe Biden spoke to the nation on such mandates, supporting the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness and explaining the progress made in battling the virus. Biden continued by encouraging unvaccinated individuals to get the vaccine, as well as mentioning the possibility of future mandates.

To enforce such a mandate, President Biden announced the Department of Labor was issuing a rule of emergency, which requires private companies with 100 or more employees to impose either vaccinations or weekly testing. A vaccine mandate was issued for all healthcare and federal workers, and were provided with no option of weekly testing.

Biden left the decision for vaccine mandates in schools up to state prosecutors. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy has required that all school employees be fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. This mandate allows for both staff and students to feel safer in their work environment.

Furthermore, there has been controversy over whether or not students should also be required to get vaccinated.

Mandating a vaccine, or alternatives like weekly testing, will ultimately decrease COVID-19 cases in schools. However, COVID-19 vaccine mandates should have exceptions, such as medical conditions.

Sophomore Lily Howard of Shrewsbury also believes that COVID-19 vaccines should be mandated, but sympathizes with those who are unable to be vaccinated.

“If we don’t have any rules in place, we’ll be stuck with COVID for much longer than we should be,” Howard said.

Vaccine mandates will also encourage more students and staff to get vaccinated, as they will realize it will decrease their chances of having a positive test result. According to the CDC, “people who were partially or fully vaccinated were 66 percent less likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection for more than one week compared to those who were unvaccinated.”

Ultimately, vaccine mandates have more benefits than drawbacks, since it is the best way to keep everyone healthy.

Not only do vaccines protect one from contracting COVID-19, but they also prevent future outbreaks, meaning that schools will begin the return to normalcy at a faster rate. This is not propaganda or another step on a political agenda, but rather a solution to an ongoing problem that could be solved.