NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Students share thoughts on vaccines

The last year has shifted this whole world upsidedown, and at this rate the cause of all of this is common knowledge.

2020 was a burden and a year to forget by many, but this year has brought out the joy in that COVID vaccinations are increasing at a rapid rateby each following month.

As things currently stand, 30% of the entire U.S. populationhave been fully vaccinated, also meaning nearly 100 million Americans with 237 million doses of the COVID vaccine already being handed out nationwide

As we see the increase of vaccinations, many peoplehave different views on what the vaccines will mean in terms of dealing with the pandemic.

Students at NECC have all had unique beliefs and experiences with vaccines so far, with some believing getting vaccinated the way to go, while some question certain aspects of the vaccine.

Student  Zachary Cutter, has already been fully vaccinated and also is hopeful for change in
the future.

“I took the Pfizer one first dosage before (trip to) Vegas on 1st march I think and the second dosage after Vegas which was on the 26th of April and I felt like crap on the second dosage,” says Cutter.

“There will be many debates on certain issues pertainingto topics like vaccine passport being racist and classist or not. Either way it’s going to be a both interesting and very weird world because of all of this.”

Many students who have taken at least a dose of thevaccine are hopeful there will be a positive
life post-vaccines, but students like Cutter are aware of a possible unequal despair this would
cause, and Andrew Venditti, a 22 year old student at NECC, has similar thoughts.

“The first dose of the Moderna vaccine gave me a sore arm and a headache for a day and a half,
but I’m looking forward to getting the second shot so I can hang with my friends in the future!”
says Venditti. “I am no doctor, but because the CDC recommends gettin gany of the Emergency Use authorized
vaccines, I will take them.

“Once everyone gets vaccinated, I hope most things go back to normal. I hope I can go to
concerts, bars, and take in person classes again.”

“There are some societal disparities however, like the income inequality between the wealthy
and working class, that this pandemic brought into light,” he said.  “I hope that because the pandemic made
some of these things so apparent, that we don’t allow these things to continue totally as they were
before it.”

Normality of the future from before the pandemic has raised questions with many people, and
although many of the population have been vaccinate dand are hoping to return to normal, NECC
student Michelle Colbert-Mason is still indecisive and has questions of her own.

“I haven’t been vaccinated yet and I am still just a tad bit on the fence about it,” she said. “Maybe I’ve been
reading too many uninformed sources on the internet. I’m apprehensive as I wonder about the
long-term side effects and also the overall effectiveness.Long story short, I have no idea. We
will have to wait and see.

“There will be a new normal. There will definitely be a lot of new changes. With so many parts of our lives being forced to transfer to remote,things like online learning and working will be a lot more utilized, developed, an dencouraged.

“Schools having a vaccination requirement for returningstudents is a bit of a horrific thought in my mind. I was with the vaccination requirement when it came to the flu vaccine as I was conditioned to take it yearly and never hada problem. But now faced with the coronavirus vaccine and feeling apprehensive, I’ve found myself on the other side now and it’s a bit conflicting.

Schools all across the nations have talked about plans of opening up, but one key issue schools would need to address is safety among students.

Some students have become so apprehensive of the vaccine that some don’t even have intentions of taking them at all, and NECC student Yamina Valdez is one of the students that shares these concerns.

“I have not been vaccinated. I do not plan to take the vaccine. I don’t feel comfortable taking it,
because it hasn’t been out long enough and am notsure how it will affect me years later,”  says Valdez

“Covid is still at an all time high, you still hav eto wear a mask, and not surround yourself by a
lot of people, but then again they say, “take thevaccine to protect yourself from Covid,’ so, why
do I still have to wear a mask to go into a stor eif I took the vaccine?”

What has questioned students like Valdez in particular about the vaccine has been protocols set
in place. With New Hampshire having set mask-free measures already, it’s a matter of whether or
not the states around will go about similar measures,or take different ones, which is what a lot of
students have become skeptical over and questions over government handling will continue to

Ultimately, no matter if students will or will not take the vaccine, everyone is hopeful of one
thing: The end to this pandemic and for life to go back to normal.

“In my opinion we need to go back to normal, and build our immune system,” continues Valdez.
“I think if this virus doesn’t get you, your mental health will and it’s becoming unhealthy the
way we’re living, and it’s driving a lot of peopl ea little bit insane with all these restrictions and
the policy or regulations constantly changing.”