It’s straightforward: The COVID-19 vaccination will end the pandemic.

STAFF EDITORIAL

COVID-19 has only existed about a year and a half, yet it has affected nearly all aspects of society. 

Education has been significantly more difficult, due to inconsistent schedules and unexpected shutdowns, causing both teachers and students to be stressed. Schools have to lock down because COVID-19 outbreaks occur when students and staff don’t follow precautionary measures to stop the spread. 

Our school building has had a total of 32 cases of COVID-19 as of May 17. About half of these cases happened after returning to school from spring break.

Such a significant increase is not coincidental: vacation travel, large gatherings and ignored social distancing guidelines are the reason cases are on the rise.

The only way to stop the disease permanently is to eradicate it. At this point, that is not possible as the disease has become endemic, meaning it will circulate in populations much like influenza. 

When we vaccinate for influenza, eradication is not the goal. We are only trying to prevent as many casualties as possible.

The goal is the same for COVID-19. The virus’s vaccines are the quickest vaccine to ever be developed which has caused many people to be skeptical about its safety, but thorough testing and monitoring have shown that the set of vaccines are safe and effective. 

The vaccines have also been far more accessible than originally planned.

According to Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services graph released in late January, teens age 16 and above would not be able to get the vaccine until late June at least. Now, the vaccine has been available for teens since April 1. 

The idea of getting vaccinated should be straightforward, yet politics around it are increasingly volatile. 

Ideas that the vaccine is a democratic attempt to control the population have been shown to be  false and devoid of any substance. 

Many conservative citizens also doubt the validity of the science in masks—even though science has proven masks effectuve—and choose to not wear masks. The choice to not wear masks along with refusing to get vaccinated are only adding fuel to a fire that is already wildly out of control.

To choose to not get vaccinated is to choose to let a deadly virus shake up society for years longer than necessary. 

The main argument against the vaccine is that it is an under researched medical process; yet mRNA vaccines, like the COVID-19 vaccine, have been researched since 1970. 

Diseases that have torn through humanity in the past, such as smallpox, were only able to be eradicated through mass vaccination, a process that completely cripples a virus’s ability to spread since it can not find a host. 

There are of course people who can not get vaccinated due to allergies, yet they can be protected by herd immunity, a term for when a majority of a population is immune to a virus meaning the virus is unable to spread through the population and reach those who are unable to be vaccinated.

The goal of all the precautionary measures such as social distancing and vaccination is not to have control over a population, it’s so we can return to a stable way of life. 

If not enough people are vaccinated, it is certain that the virus will continue to spread and mutate making all the vaccinations distributed useless. 

If students want to attend school and have large events such as assemblies or sports they need to be vaccinated unless physically unable for health reasons.