COVID-19 vaccine should become a requirement in future

Taryn Robinson, Opinions Editor

A recent concern among students, parents and faculty at Manhattan High School is that the USD-383 school district is considering requiring students to get the COVID-19 vaccine to be able to attend school for the 2021-2022 school year and future years to come. Even though not all high schoolers are eligible to get the vaccine due to age restrictions, The Mentor Editorial Board agrees that there should be a requirement to get the COVID-19 vaccine for those who are able to.

Whether or not to get the COVID-19 vaccine has been a hot topic. Many people have their own opinions about it, whether good or bad. Political beliefs, religions and morals are often the cause of one not getting a certain vaccine, but for this virus, there should be no excuse not to take the opportunity to get it once it is available.

The thing is, there’s no reason to not get vaccinated unless one is under the age of 16. The vaccine has not caused anyone to die, nor has it caused any problems since it’s been available to the public. “Recent polls show 1 in 5 Americans are unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” according to Beaumont Health and Wellness. “According to a recent nationwide survey, the leading cause of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy are the possible side effects, followed closely by those waiting to see if it is safe. Mistrust of the vaccine and the government also play into people’s fears.”

If getting the COVID-19 was required of students, it shouldn’t be a problem because we are already required to get other vaccines. To go to school, students are required to be up to date on tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough vaccines, so adding the COVID-19 vaccine wouldn’t be very difficult.

Let’s say that the district doesn’t require the vaccine next year. If they didn’t, the coronavirus would have a 100 percent chance of spreading around the school, versus if they did require it, the chance of the virus spreading would be slim to none, and the school could go back to being mask-free. If a student is 16, there is no excuse why they shouldn’t get the vaccine — it wouldn’t be fair as they would put others at risk who are not old enough to get the vaccine.

Instead of leaving the vaccine optional for students 16 and older, the district should require the vaccine. This would be to ensure that everyone stays healthy and COVID-19-free so that we can put this virus behind us once and for all.