Mandated Vaccines: Safety or Control?


Makenna West

A young adult receives a vaccine earlier this month.

Max West

      In the last year, there has been a debate swirling around the world, causing a stir anywhere it reaches–“Should the Covid-19 vaccine be mandatory?”

     Hospitals, colleges, factories, restaurants and government agencies are now requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination in the form of a vaccination card. Some businesses are firing people who do not have their vaccine or requiring weekly Covid-19 tests for those who refuse it. 

    According to Our World In Data, 44.9 percent of the world’s population is vaccinated. This includes 1.54 million West Virginians.  Despite this, none of the three vaccines are 100 percent effective, and for the most part, the long-term effects are completely unknown.

     Some opposed to the vaccine maintain that Covid-19 has a 90 percent recovery rate, and they believe the odds of them getting seriously ill are extremely low. Some argue that very few vaccines are mandatory, and the ones that are have been heavily tested.

      “I do not agree with them just because they haven’t made other vaccines mandatory, and I feel like it should be your decision,” Luke Boaram, sophomore, said.

     Despite this, the other half believes that everyone eligible should have the vaccine out of concern for public safety, an attempt to return to normalcy, and a reduction in the spread.

     Emilie Lough, junior, said she would like to see vaccines be mandated for schools, but maybe not public places.

     “I understand why people wouldn’t want to get it but for safety, It should be a thing, especially for schools, maybe not for grocery stores or public places, but for schools, they seem necessary.” Lough said the vaccines make her protected from the virus. “It makes me feel safer, plus I’m vaccinated so I know it’s safe.”

And of course, there are the few that remain indifferent and or sympathetic to both views.

     “I don’t think anyone should have to do something they are uncomfortable with, but I understand why administrators would want them out of concern for public health. I understand both sides,” Jayna Jerden, junior, said.

     Part of the opposition to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is the use of Messenger RNA (mRNA) instead of a live/weakened version of the germ or virus. In most cases the live virus will cause an immune response and building up an immunity to the virus. According to, the mRNA vaccines instead give cells specific instructions to create what is called a “spike protein.” These spike proteins then can fight off the virus as it enters the body.

     “I think they’ve done well with developing the vaccines. I still think there are kinks that need to be worked out, but as far as the mRNA goes, there are other vaccines that use it that are completely effective,” Nicole Radabaugh, NP at the Camden Health Clinic, said. “As for the mandate, I think it should be up to the person. I don’t think anyone should be mandated. I think the mandate opens a new door to if they mandate this, what next?”

     As for Mr. John Whiston, principal, concluded that he hopes that people will choose to be vaccinated in an effort to keep schools open and to keep students and faculty healthy. 

      “Everybody should want to get a vaccine so they can remain in school, save their sport seasons and take care of the people around them. I don’t think we should be mandated to do the right thing. And, some vaccines already are mandatory, so why not the Covid vaccine?” Whiston concluded.