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The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

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Editorial: A student vaccine mandate is vital for schools to remain open

The+requirement+for+student+vaccination+should+be+implemented+at+all+schools.+Why%3F+
Arushi Sharma
The requirement for student vaccination should be implemented at all schools. Why?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 to 11, making the shot available for another 28 million children in the United States. This increased availability means vaccination should be required for all students in Northshore School District as vaccination protects not only the individual student but also the broader Northshore community.  

Requiring students to be vaccinated not only prevents the unvaccinated from getting COVID-19, but it also prevents the virus from spreading. According to the NSD COVID-19 Data Dashboard, Inglemoor High School has had a total of 12 positive COVID cases this year, out of which 10 are students. Although this is lower than other high schools in the district, it will be difficult to maintain these numbers throughout the winter, especially if all students are not fully vaccinated. 

In their classes and the hallways, students come into contact with many other members of the student body and staff. Moreover, as the weather conditions decline and flu season arrives, we are more prone to contract the virus, creating higher risks for a widespread outbreak. An outbreak would mean another step backwards in our fight against COVID-19 and would lead us one step closer to online learning again.

Having a large number of unvaccinated students at the school would reduce the positive effect of the teacher vaccine mandate already in place in Washington. All employees in the Northshore School District are vaccinated, which protects them and the students to some extent. However, the number of staff is small compared to the 1573 people within the student body. Hence, the teacher mandate,although beneficial, isn’t the best prevention of transmission. 

Now that students in elementary and middle school can get vaccinated, it is vital they do so. Elementary school students make up 64% of all students who are quarantined in the district. Because proper mask use is harder to enforce among younger children, it is crucial that they be protected as much as possible. 

In the beginning of the pandemic, NSD was the first district in the nation to shut down to protect students and staff. In fact Dr. Michelle Reid won Superintendent of the year partially because of that. NSD should implement a student vaccine mandate to set an example for other school districts around the country, as they did when transitioning to virtual learning.

The Los Angeles School District is the only district to implement a vaccine mandate for students. We can learn from them and amend ours accordingly.

The impact of false information spread through the internet, and specifically against the COVID-19 vaccine by right-wing media, is a major factor in the hesitation surrounding vaccination. This vaccine should not be politicized, and one’s political views should definitely not be a reason for exemption. 73.5% of people 12 and older in Washington have been fully vaccinated. Although getting COVID-19 and recovering gives you some immunity, the United States Center for Disease Control has said that getting the vaccine is more effective.

Exemptions should only include those who cannot medically withstand vaccines and those who cannot due to religious reasons. Their inability to receive vaccines should not inhibit their ability to attend school, and if the rest of students are vaccinated, herd immunity will hopefully be enough to keep them safe. Those who cannot get vaccinated due to medical reasons are even more vulnerable to COVID, making it our responsibility to protect them.

The vaccine is currently the world’s best source of prevention for COVID-19. If we are ever going to return to normalcy, the vaccine mandate must be implemented.

 

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About the Contributor
Arushi Sharma, News Editor
Junior Arushi Sharma is the News Editor for Nordic News for the 2021-2022 school year. During her second year on staff, Arushi hopes to further improve her journalism skills and write articles to impact on the Inglemoor community. Outside of Nordic, Arushi is part of the Drama Club and Speech and Debate Club. In her free time, Arushi likes to read, write, and go on hikes.

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Editorial: A student vaccine mandate is vital for schools to remain open