Vaccine mandates Claremont High School?

{Image courtesy of Carson Paul}

About a year and half from the start of quarantine, vaccinations have allowed a sense of normalcy to return. Students have returned to in-person school, clubs and sports are once again meeting, and it is safer to spend time with friends. Ever since the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines were approved by the FDA, schools and workplaces have started to mandate the vaccine. Among these schools are all 33 of the UC and Cal States, who were recently joined by the Los Angeles Unified School District, in total accounting for more than 3 million students. LAUSD became the nation’s first major school district to adopt such a mandate. Along with the UCs and Cal States being some of the first public colleges to require vaccination against COVID-19. Seeing these mandates reach schools throughout California, it has raised the question: will these mandates come to Claremont High School?

Keaton Bunker, a CHS junior, had a few thoughts on this subject.
“For us to have a vaccine mandate at Claremont High School we have to make necessary exceptions purely for those who can’t have the vaccines due to medical reasons,” Bunker said. “These mandates could go wrong though one thing that America prides itself on is freedom of religion and it causes many loopholes leading to students not getting it for this reason or another.”

With a possible vaccine mandate at Claremont High undoubtedly comes many mixed opinions. While some believe the mandate is necessary to obtain herd immunity against the virus and protect public health, others believe the government should not have the right to infringe upon the autonomy of the American people with a mandated shot.
To explore the pros and cons of the potential vaccine mandate Keaton Bunker shares his thoughts on how this would have to be mandated and how this would affect us. When looking at how to mandate these vaccines, everyone agrees it has to be done precisely right and exceptions have to be made for some.

Like all vaccine mandates, there are special scenarios where one doesn’t need to get the shots such as if you have a medical problem in conflict. The most common being allergic reactions, which is a small minority. It is more of the problem of how this will be put into place. If Claremont High School starts to require people to take a COVID-19 test each day before entering without the vaccine, the concern to come is if students may rebel.

This could affect the school badly if worse came to worse and it causes a decrease in numbers in student turnout or students switching schools because of the schools administration decisions. That’s why we need to be as careful as possible when making a mandate to keep everyone at a level of agreement. We just need this to happen in a way without retaliation because the goal of these vaccines aren’t only for students but for those who live near a Claremont high school student so they do not have increased risk too. If we can reduce numbers as a whole in Claremont it would help so much to go back to normalcy.

“This would help Claremont as a whole in reducing COVID cases,” Bunker said.“We would be helping the students, the staff and those in high risk categories along with those who don’t have a vaccine yet.”

The months following the vaccine rollout have proven there is a causation between high vaccination rates and a drop in COVID-19 cases. While people are debating for booster shots to combat the new delta variant, the main thing we have to focus on as a total, is herd immunity and then we can go from there.

President Joe Biden this past month has imposed brand new vaccine rules on federal workers, large employers, and health care staff in an attempt to contain the latest surge of COVID-19 due to the delta variant and last summer’s rush. The new requirements would apply to as many as 100 million Americans, almost two-thirds of the American workforce and one of the strongest pushes yet of the vaccine rollouts [according to BBC news]. The six pillars of Biden’s plan include: vaccinating the unvaccinated; further protecting the vaccinated through booster shots; keeping schools open; increasing testing and requiring masks; protecting the economic recovery; and improving care for those with COVID-19. In a short amount of time, it will come to the push of all students, not just the few districts that have already started. By continuing to watch how these mandates are being played out in federal and private employees will show how this could affect the students of CHS.

In the next couple of years, the massive fear of COVID-19 may always stay present in lawmakers’ heads, making decisions based upon these events we have lived through. COVID-19 vaccine mandates will stay to be a hot topic of debate for a long time from the country to our own city of Claremont. With the question still remaining, will the COVID vaccine mandates work in the end or will they create more harms than benefits?