Should it be required for students to get vaccinated for school?

Vaccination concerning students within the school still remains a controversial topic.


Image created by Julia Buktaw.

Julia Buktaw, Staff Writer

As many may know, the majority of students spent the 2020-2021 school year online. In the first half of the year, there wasn’t a fully developed vaccine yet, so it wasn’t safe for students to enter in-person school again. Now that a vaccine has been made, 100% in-school has started and places are fully opening up. Due to that, there is more of a reason for students to be protected by getting their vaccination. It is still a controversial topic as people’s opinions on getting vaccinated differ.

“It’s very important to our well being as a community and as a society to work together to overcome this pandemic. So I think it is safe to get it [the vaccine],” said Cheyenne Tongue, a sophomore at Freedom High School.

Some believe their children should not be taking the vaccine, while other believe the vaccine will keep their children safe in school. It is understandable as people may think there is not enough research done on the vaccine, but they also need to take into consideration the safety of fully resuming in-person school after almost two years. Students seem to be getting sick more often now that school has started again, so if the community works together to help vaccinate students and enforce better mask regulations, the community can go back to how it originally was quicker. Some teachers are extremely strict on masks, but others don’t care, which is a problem. So, it is important that teachers enforce stricter rules, especially for the students that are yet to be vaccinated. 

“We can’t monitor every single student at every single moment and make sure that they are wearing their masks and wearing them properly. [So,] I feel like making sure they are vaccinated will ensure better safety for students and staff,” Tongue said.

 On the COVID-19 case information, located on the LCPS website, it says that all LCPS employees are required to get the vaccine or show proof of a negative weekly COVID-19 test by November 1, 2021. This is most likely due to the importance of students and staff to prevent widespread infection throughout the community. If both teachers and students are required to get certain vaccines for school and safety reasons, then it should be the same way with the COVID-19 vaccine. Since students move around the school often, they are getting exposed to hundreds if not thousands of people within a day. With the majority of students vaccinated, school can become a safer place with students feeling more comfortable with their environment.

There are certain cases where students have religious or health reasons for not getting it, which is excusable. It’s when people refuse to get the vaccine for invalid reasons, it seems like a selfish act.

 “If everyone got vaccinated except for the people with health conditions, it would sort of create a herd immunity, so we are protecting the people who can’t get vaccinated,” said a freshman at FHS, who asked to remain anonymous.

Another set of data on the LCPS website shows that elementary school students have a higher surge in cases compared to high schools and middle schools. 

“They are young and take their masks off and don’t listen to protocols well. It’s not surprising that the elementary students are getting infected more often,” said Natalia Beardslee, an elementary school teacher in Loudoun County.

There are many reasons for the higher infection rate in elementary schools. The majority of students are not yet old enough to get vaccinated; they tend to touch each other more, spreading germs, and they don’t listen to safety protocols as well as other age groups. Most people agree that they should stay in school at their age, but there are many risks that come with going to school in their situation. But, there are also reasons why they should remain in-person, they need to be monitored during class and it is easier to teach kids in-person rather than through a screen. 

“It would be easier for them and us teachers to learn and teach in person rather than online again,” Beardslee said.

While many people believe that getting the vaccine is unsafe, it ensures the safety of students every day. This community can work together to improve the conditions of the area, spreading information about vaccinations and  informing them on why it’s good to get vaccinated for school.