The COVID vaccine has been a long-awaited development since the worldwide pandemic began in 2020. As an increasing number of high risk individuals have become vaccinated, the opportunity to receive the vaccine continues to become available for more and more people, including some students at Abraham Lincoln.
On May 4, Abraham Lincoln High School provided the opportunity for students to receive the vaccine. Former AL students Candy Heyer and Brittany McGee worked at the vaccination clinic and shared their perspective on the COVID pandemic and vaccination turnout.
“We were aiming for a little bit more,” said Heyer. “We do know some of these students had the opportunity before today, they may have already received their vaccine.”
McGee added her appreciation for the students who chose to receive their first vaccination on Tuesday.
“We are just happy that we are able to be here to give the opportunity to those who did want it,” said McGee. “It was pretty cool to be a part of that.”
As the deleterious effects of the pandemic have continued for over a year, many have become accustomed to the “new normal” of a world with pandemic related restrictions.
“It’s not so much something people have to think about doing,” said McGee. “Before it was a little bit more of a battle, this is just kind of the new norm now.”
Despite a smaller turnout than expected, each vaccination administered is one step closer to achieving normalcy as soon as possible.
“As long as those who are comfortable with and wanting to get it have gotten it then we are good with the turnout,” said Heyer. “We are celebrating every single shot that we do.”
Although the benefits of receiving the vaccine highly outweigh the possible side effects, some individuals like sophomore Maliah Young have experienced cold-like symptoms after getting vaccinated.
“After my first shot I had a sore arm for a couple days,” said Young. “After my second shot I was just tired but my arm did not hurt and while getting the shot I could barely even feel it.”
Similarly to Young, Emma Vodicka is another Abraham Lincoln student who had the opportunity to receive the COVID vaccine.
“I had to get two shots for the vaccine and for the first shot I had a minor headache and a sore arm,” said Vodicka. “The second shot I had body aches, a severe headache, and was super tired.”
As a growing number of individuals receive the vaccination, many have questioned the essentiality of masks, and their effectiveness in general.
“I think we should wear masks until COVID cases have gone way down,” said Young. “Right now is not the time for us to stop wearing masks, they are one way to keep us safe and I think that we should hold onto that for as long as possible.”
There is much support for mass vaccination of individuals in order to return to normal as quickly as possible, but some still remain skeptical.
“I am choosing not to receive the vaccine because of the unknowns,” said senior Kelsey Wathen. “My chances of surviving COVID-19 are pretty high.”
While the vaccine is relatively new, the eagerness to return to normal pre COVID life is enough to convince many to receive their vaccinations.
“I would say people should get the shot even though you may be skeptical,” said Vodicka. “The shot is one way to help others, not just yourself.”