Student Opinions: The COVID-19 Vaccine


Maya Page, News Writer

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to affect the world, there is evident need for some kind of solution, and a COVID-19 vaccine seems to be the best idea. Pfizer, partnered with BioNTech, along with Moderna are two pharmaceutical giants currently rushing to find a successful vaccine for this disease. According to an NPR article, this past Wednesday, Pfizer released an analysis showing its vaccine to be 95% effective.
Now, the company is submitting a formal request for the FDA to approve the vaccine for emergency use. This means that once the vaccine gets approved, it will be distributed as quickly as possible to as many people as possible. Moderna, with an analysis showing their vaccine to be 94.5% effective, is soon expected to make a request as well. When the vaccines are federally approved, they will be distributed as soon as possible.
There are varying opinions on whether the vaccine is safe or not, and some are unsure if they will even get the vaccine when it’s publicly available. A few Glenbard South students from every class were surveyed with a few questions about their own thoughts on the vaccine.
First, students were asked if they would be willing to take the vaccine when it becomes available to the public. In response to this question, sophomore Sana Muneer, said that she was “willing to try the vaccine when it’s approved by the FDA and other credible doctors and scientists have also made sure that it’s completely safe”. Freshman Matilda McLaren had a similar opinion, saying “I am definitely pro-vaccine, but I would need to research and educate myself more before I was willing to try it once it’s made available to the public.” She added that part of her “believes that perhaps the government administration is rushing the process in hopes of appeasing the public”. Kevin Pinkelman, a junior, said that for him, “After quarantining like everyone else for many months, being hospitalized for Covid, and watching people I knew and loved suffer” from the virus, he was “instantly elated” when he learned about the two possible vaccines. He stated that although the companies making these vaccines definitely do have monetary motivation, the vaccines have been “tested and approved by medical experts with no motivation to lie.” He added that it’s upsetting “to watch people complain (or ignore clear regulations) about the struggles this pandemic has brought, and then turn around and attack the one thing [the vaccine] that will get us back to some form of normalcy.”
Next, South students were asked if they believed the vaccine would truly be effective in bringing the world back to a ‘normal’, pre-COVID-like state. Delaney McGee, a junior, said she hopes that the vaccine does bring things back to normal, however “it all just comes down to how willing people are to believe in the science and get [the vaccine]”. Sara Vangeli, a senior, believed that the vaccine will be effective, but she adds that “it should still be necessary and acknowledged to continue the usage of masks to prevent any more cases”. Kevin Pinkelman responded to this next question saying that in order to truly stop this pandemic, the “majority of the population must get vaccinated”, and he urges people to “trust medical experts, listen to the people who have worked tirelessly to save lives, and get vaccinated.”