The mask mandate and vaccines


Oliver Gamez, Editor

Highly politicized, slightly supported by the public, around 95% effective, the COVID-19 vaccine brings high hopes to the at-risk and general population alike. 

While it’s been highly questioned on how the vaccine was finalized so quickly compared to other viruses in history, it must also be recognized that those vaccines were developed nearly 50 to 100 years ago and medicine has greatly advanced since then. With a high infection rate and death rate that quickly climbed, the fast development of the vaccine was a risk that was necessary to take.

It shouldn’t be questioned that an industry that has spent decades preparing for a health event such as this could release a vaccine for a highly contagious disease in under a year, especially when the technology and resources are so readily available.

The highly contagious disease is silent for some, fatal for others, and leaves those who recover with unknown health issues to live with afterwards. Global cases have risen to 99.8 million and deaths to 2 million, it only makes sense for the government to be distributing as many vaccines as possible. 

Receiving the vaccine will not prevent people from catching COVID- the flu vaccine doesn’t claim to do that either- it will simply alleviate symptoms. No longer will the chance of individuals dying from complications from the disease be as high as it is (even if it’s not very, the chance is still very much there); this vaccine will save lives.

As defense for the vaccine being ineffective, some might use the excuse of the lawmakers who tested positive after the Capitol Hill riot. But those lawmakers blame their fellow co-workers for their exposure, as some of the Republican members refused to wear a mask when they were sheltering in close capacity. 

The vaccine protects people from getting seriously ill after infection, not from getting it at all. Again, receiving the vaccine does not guarantee negative future tests. These lawmakers made a highly disrespectful choice to expose their co-workers in such a situation, but the bad light in this situation should be on them, not the vaccine.

Most people in the country agree that the government is doing a poor job of distributing the vaccines, but with a new presidential administration brings hope for change. President Biden just recently announced several changes to the supply of vaccines, including a change in administering 10 million doses a week instead of just 4 million.

Bringing in a 15% increase in doses will lead the country to reaching the point of herd immunity, but this can only be attained if 75% of the population gets vaccinated. If the portion of the population that refuses to mask up, and think that they’ll grow extra limbs would only decide to receive the vaccine regardless, they could be part of the reason that they see the virus “go away.”

Regardless of how effective the vaccine has proved to be and the scientific evidence that supports the notion that it will save lives, a major portion of the population will still refuse to get their dose, and the virus will continually interrupt our daily lives. 

If everyone follows the new federal mask mandate and practices social distancing, the vaccine will not be as necessary for the safety of the public health as it currently is.