The Rush to Get Vaccinated

The+Rush+to+Get+Vaccinated

Madison Phung, Editor

COVID vaccine eligibility has opened up for everyone 16 years old and older in Texas, making most of the student body eligible for the vaccine.

As the demand for vaccines rises, it has become more difficult for people to sign up for vaccinations across the state. Senior Phoebe Teoh hopes that Texas will increase its vaccine supply so there are more opportunities for people to get vaccinated.

“The vaccination process itself was quite fast. However the process to get registered was far more difficult. My parents are high risk so it was important for them to get vaccinated, but it was difficult to find a place to register because everywhere close to us had a long list with few vaccines being distributed,” Teoh said. “I work at a vet clinic and I have chronic sinusitis, so my parents not only sought out vaccines for themselves but for me as well. We ended up waking up at 6am to register to get the vaccine two hours away.”

AP Chemistry teacher Ms. Marusik, who received the vaccine in February, said that after receiving her doses she experienced a couple of minimal side effects but generally felt fine. 

“I had a very sore arm within a few hours after the first vaccine.  The day after, I had a headache and felt tired, so I slept in that day, and took a nap in the afternoon. By the second day after the vaccine, I felt absolutely fine!” Marusik said. “When I got the second part of the vaccine, I actually had no side effects except the sore arm. I’ve heard some people have actually had more effects with the second shot, so I felt very lucky.”

Senior Isha Patel hasn’t received a COVID vaccine yet, but believes that it would greatly help protect her health from the virus and hopes to get vaccinated soon. 

“In a scientific sense, it’s important to get vaccinated because vaccines help your immune system to learn how to create antibodies that protect you from diseases, and it’s much safer for your immune system to learn how to create antibodies through vaccination than it is through getting and treating diseases,” Patel said. 

Marusik anticipates that as soon as enough people are vaccinated, society can start going back to normal and people can have safe social interactions again. 

“With being a teacher and having to come to work, I was very worried about passing the virus along to my mom, who was in a high-risk group due to her age and health. So, I wasn’t really able to spend any time with her since school started in August.  Now that we are both vaccinated, we both feel a lot safer about spending time with each other again, which is quite a relief!” Marusik said. 

For students, the vaccines represent a light at the end of a long tunnel. From the experiences they’ve faced in quarantine and isolation, they now know what encompasses a pandemic and have learned how to face it. 

“We as a generation are able to be knowledgeable on the importance of understanding the implications of the virus and how to take proper precautions to avoid contracting and spreading it,” Teoh said. 

Additionally, the vaccine doesn’t just have an impact on those who can contract the virus, but also those who help fight it everyday. Marusik is grateful that the vaccines can make it easier for healthcare workers to treat more people due to fewer cases. 

“It doesn’t mean that there is no chance you get the virus, but it certainly means that you will not get as sick from it,” Marusik said. “This helps to prevent hospitalizations and overwhelming our hospitals, allowing our healthcare workers to have some relief at work. They have been working so hard the last year. It seems unfair to ask them to continue to do so when we can simply just all get the vaccine.” 

As far as how vaccines impact the community as a whole, Teoh hopes that the state will work to improve access to vaccines especially for impoverished and deficit areas. 

“I hope the experience has taught society the repercussions of ignorance not only in medicine, but in society, and take this forward as we try to be more empathetic and work with the distribution of vaccines and proper care for those who truly need it,” Teoh said.