COVID vaccine becomes possibility for younger children

   With several state and federal mandates around the nation going into effect, many businesses are expected to lose employees due to President Joe Biden’s recent COVID vaccine mandate.

   If successful the mandate will require that businesses of over 100 employees are to be vaccinated or or tested weekly for the virus. Some could argue that this is not an unreasonable request considering that the Biden administration will be giving 10 weeks to comply with the vaccine mandate. 

   In addition many businesses and corporations are already requiring that one be vaccinated to work for them. However, while other places do not require one to be vaccinated they do give financial incentives for those who choose to be. 

   Due to federal funding many colleges around  Mississippi are requiring people to be vaccinated if they are an employee at the university.

   With many conflicting opinions surrounding the COVID vaccine, an executive decision about the mandate has not been made. However, horticulture teacher Rick McMullan is a firm believer that getting the vaccine is a good thing and that by getting it one can help contribute to the elimination of the virus itself.

   “I really believe that the faster we get the entire planet vaccinated, the faster the pandemic will be over ,” McMullan said.

   On the other hand there are many people that could argue against being vaccinated. For example,  Freshman Emily Kenmar would rather not come to school then have to give into a mandatory COVID vaccine.

   “I wouldn’t do it and if they said I wasn’t allowed to come to school then I just would not come,” Kenmar said.

   Everybody has their own opinion on the vaccine and why they do or do not want to take it. For McMullan it is just simple logic, but for Kenmar it is  a lack of trust in the government. 

   “To me it’s a common sense thing, we were shut down as a globe for a year over a disease that we have no defense over,” McMullan said.

   “ I just don’t trust the government, I have seen a lot of things and my parents don’t trust it so I don’t either,” Kenmar said.

   As early as this week vaccinations have become a possibility for children ages 5-12. While children will not have as large a dose as adults do, the Pfizer vaccine is still proven to be more than 90 percent effective in children as well as 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 12 through 15.

   With the vaccine now a possibility for younger children, many parents are doing their research to determine what the best option is for their families.  For English teacher Leona O’Neal, allowing her 9-year-old daughter to be vaccinated is what’s best for the well being of her family.   

   “I feel it’s in my best interest and in her best interest, I feel it’s the best way for me to keep her safe when it comes to COVID,” O’Neal said.

   Although fewer than 700 children have died from COVID in the nation, some could agree that even one child is one too many.

   “Saving one child is better than allowing any children to be sick or allow them to die because of this awful disease,” O’Neal said.

   While it is uncertain right now if a vaccination mandate will be effective in the future, a meeting between President Joe Biden and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices was held on November 2-3. The meeting determined that vaccines will now be available for children ages 5-12.  The ACIP is a group of medical and public health experts that develop recommendations on how to use vaccines.