The Student Newspaper of Suncoast High School

Florida COVID-19 Vaccine Available for our Essential Teachers

Will teachers be getting it now that it is available to them, and why?

March 28, 2021

On Dec. 14, 2020 the first U.S. COVID-19 vaccine  was given to a healthcare worker in New York, Sandra Lindsay. By Jan. 14, 2021, there were already 774,484 doses administered across the country. By March 10, 2021 there had been 93.7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine given in the United States. There is a method to the madness of controlling the vaccinations. 

I am getting the vaccine when it is available to me because I firmly believe that all human beings should take advantage of any vaccine to combat a deadly disease. Vaccines have saved more lives than anything else in human history. When you weigh the risk versus the reward, there is no comparison,” Advanced Placement U.S. Government teacher and head football coach Jimmy Clark said. 

Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has been successful thus far, but what is currently unknown is who will receive the vaccine next. Front-line and healthcare workers were put first, and seniors were prioritized, so who is next on the list?

In a poll constructed, six out of 10 of teachers asked from Suncoast High School said they would be getting the vaccine as soon as they could. Originally, the media stated that teachers would be some of the first to receive the vaccine as they were considered essential workers. Now, teachers were bumped down to the second or third string of people who will be eligible for the vaccination depending on the state.

It can be assumed that most of the teachers  interviewed will feel safer once they get the vaccine. The vaccine promises less extreme side effects from COVID-19. This means high-risk patients who would have trouble fighting the more extreme symptoms would not have to worry about this. 

“I am still undecided about getting the vaccine and am hoping to see more data on its safety and efficacy before it gets to the point that I am eligible to receive it,” TV-Production and Yearbook teacher Stephanie Russo said. 

As of March 8, 2021 there was a nationwide notice that teachers are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. This is due to President Biden’s Federal Retail Pharmacy program, which he announced on March 2, 2021. Some states where teachers have been eligible since January include Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, and many more. Florida is nwo distributing vaccines to teachers throughout the state at vaccination sites. This does not mean that teachers who were part of other categories could not get it when the opportunity presented itself previously.

I actually already got the vaccine. I believe that establishing a herd immunity to protect more at risk populations is essential to moving forward back to our normal society. Getting the vaccine is a crucial part in that process,” Biology and Environmental Science teacher Brett Stubbs said. 

Teachers were some of the first to go back to work face-to-face while students still have the choice to stay virtual at Suncoast. This information alone starts a controversial topic on why teachers would not be some of the first to have received the vaccine. Florida COVID-19 cases have recently risen to 1.96 million. In Palm Beach County alone, there are currently 124,000 cases. 

“Teachers definitely deserved to be some of the first to get the vaccine. I know that previously it was a big upset that they weren’t first or second in line for it. But I know many people who were more than happy to hear that teachers are now accepted to receive the vaccine across the nation,” junior Sophia Osborne said. 

Just because teachers are now able to get the vaccine does not mean that they will be forced to receive it. Ultimately, it is up to each individual teacher to decide whether or not the rewards outweigh the risks. 

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