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To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? Students discuss their plans for vaccine acceptance, refusal

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Covid vaccine

Oklahoma is in Phase II of its COVID-19 vaccine plan.

OSU has announced that they intend to provide students with the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. This is all part of the schools’ multi-phase plan to obtain and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. But will students and faculty all opt to receive it?

“I received the vaccine at the Payne county health department, the only other people receiving the vaccine were health care workers,” said OSU junior, Josh Soliz, who was offered the vaccine through his job at the COVID in-take lab near campus, “It honestly just felt like a normal shot, needles are very sharp now and I didn’t feel much of anything.”

As we come upon the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple vaccines have made themselves available for use. However, the distribution and accessibility process is still selective. 

In the state of Oklahoma, four phases have been set in place for residents to receive the vaccine. Teachers, staff and residents in educational settings are set to receive the vaccine in the third phase, which includes colleges and university settings. Though the arrival of a vaccine is a relief for many, others are skeptical about timeliness and effectiveness. 

In an AP-NORC poll in mid-May, fewer than 50 percent of Americans surveyed said they would commit to getting a coronavirus vaccine whenever it becomes available. According to the poll, there has been an increased amount of distrust in vaccines of many kinds over the past 20 years.

“My parents have advised against me taking the vaccine because they are unsure of everything that is in it and the long term effects it could have. My mom is especially against it. So, if it were offered to me I wouldn't take it.” said senior Ryan Bain. 

“I am not skeptical of the vaccine because I think it is something we need,” said student, Kat Ruck, “but I don't think I will personally get the vaccine since I have already had COVID.”

Despite some having doubts, at least 1.6% of the U.S. population has already received both doses of the vaccination, according to NPR. Currently, Health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities are in the first phase to receive the shot.

Senior Allison Lawrence was elated at the offer of the vaccine through her job at the COVID in-take lab. 

“I was excited because my immunity period was up from when I had the virus, and I had a chance of catching it again,” said Lawrence. “So when they approached me at work with the option to get vaccinated, I was pumped.”

While some may place their trust either in their own immunity or ability to avoid the virus, Soliz has full trust in the medical community. 

“You have to trust the medical community and the incredibly brilliant people who worked night and day to come up with the vaccine as quickly as possible. I understand it’s not an easy decision but doctors take an oath to do right by their patients so I believe they wouldn’t put out a product that they didn’t believe was safe.”