Covid-19 And Thoughts On The New Vaccine

A photo representing the percentages of various ages who took each vaccine/boosters.  (Photo taken from Long Beach COVID-19 Updates page)

A photo representing the percentages of various ages who took each vaccine/boosters. (Photo taken from Long Beach COVID-19 Updates page)

Conor Lucero and Ky'len Jefferson

Covid-19 is becoming an issue once again. The new BQ.1.1 variant has brewed chaos surrounding Covid once again, but with a new variant there also comes a new vaccine/booster: the Bivalent Vaccine/Booster.

The bivalent COVID-19 vaccines include a component of the original virus strain to provide broad protection against COVID-19 and a component of the omicron variant to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant”, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Long Beach has done an exceptional job involving the vaccine and the boosters, especially with kids ages 12-18, which involves kids of all ages that attend Wilson High School. The first dose was extremely effective, as nearly 90% of kids had received it. The second dose was also nearly as effective, with close to 80% of kids receiving it. 

Unfortunately, the third was not as effective as the previous two, numbers decreasing from 80-90% to 45-50% of kids receiving it. This is very worrisome, as it seems that the percentage of people receiving the vaccine is going down as more doses are created. With a drop of nearly 30-40% on the third dose, and the new dose is statistically destined to not do well. Especially with everyone getting used to the idea that the pandemic is over and that Covid is a thing of the past.

“I’m not gonna get the vaccine because the side effects aren’t something I want to go through again,” said Salvador Ramos, an 11th grader in the Visual Arts Pathway, who has already received the minimum dosage for school during the heat of the pandemic.

Side effects include pain and swelling where the shot was given, tiredness, headaches, muscle or joint pain, chills, and swollen lymph nodes (as stated by the CDC on their website). These side effects may be a reason why many won’t take the vaccine, and could be intimidating especially for a first time dosage for some. 

On the other hand, Diego Sommera, a student at Wilson High School and also a member of the Law and Public Service pathway, stated when asked if he would be getting the bivalent booster/vaccine, “I’m getting the third vaccine because I would rather be safe than sick”. 

Many agree with Sommera, as the people who are getting the new booster mostly have all previous vaccines/booster shots, unlike Ramos who only received the required amount. The people who are getting the new shot may be more used to the side effects as they have dealt with them more than people who have received just a single shot.

Another student who has decided on not receiving the new shot is Massimo Alfonso, an 11th grader in the Leadership and Public Service pathway who states, “I’ve gotten the first vaccine and haven’t gotten sick since then so I don’t see the need to get the new one”, which connects back to people getting used to idea of Covid being over. 

Getting the first vaccine may have given people a sense of security, and that they have done their part. Everyone has their reasons on why they will or will not get the new shot, and this sense of security may be a big reason why many might not get the new booster, as they may feel that one was enough.

Students at Wilson High School have been divided on the idea of receiving another vaccination; half of students find that getting the third vaccine will be beneficial and the other half aren’t too fond of it. Is it safe to say that the cause in students being more hesitant on getting the vaccine is due to the fear of going through the side effects or is it the fear of not knowing what exactly they’re putting into their bodies? Or maybe because their absence of Covid has let them feel fine with not receiving the new booster. One thing that is certain though is only time will tell.