By Ella McCollum-Siegfried
Vaccines have a lot of speculation around them, especially the Covid-19 vaccine we had introduced to us in December of 2020. A large argument being talked about is whether or not the Covid-19 vaccine should be mandatory for students to attend school. At the moment, the Ontario government refuses to make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory because they “respect the choices individuals make”. Respect is of great importance when it comes to individuals, but is it really fair to mandate the immunization of other diseases that are also contagious such as diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps rubella, meningitis, whooping cough and chickenpox?
It’s completely normal and understandable to have concerns and opinions about injecting things into your body because of course it’s your body and your choice, but it’s questionable if some of the arguments are mythical or if they can actually be backed up.
Most people don’t trust the vaccine because of how quickly it was developed, but like all vaccines, it continuously undergoes intense testing and regulation. Hopefully with more information, data and awareness about the vaccine and disease in the future, it may be possible to comfortably make the vaccine one that is mandatory like the others.
The TDSB is a strong believer in equity and everyone being treated the same. A large concern many people have is that people who aren’t vaccinated will be treated differently, either on purpose or accidentally. This can’t be promised but if the vaccine is made mandatory it provides a safety net of equality in the way someone is being treated.
A vaccine in any case can provide higher levels of immunity and safety against the virus at hand and allows for us to go back to living in a normal that we haven’t seen in a long time. Of course we’ll never go exactly back to the normal living conditions we had before Covid-19, but it’s a step in the direction of creating a new normal.