Staff editorial: Patience with vaccine provides perfect gift


Jacqueline Chang

The Editorial Board looks forward to receiving the vaccine, but not until those who need it more receive it first.

The Accolade’s editorial board, with the exception of a student whose parent is anti-vaccination, unanimously agreed to take a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to students.

With the FDA’s green light on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna one in review, we’ve gotten an early gift amid California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s newest stay-at-home order and the recent surge in coronavirus cases.

But before we rush to receive a vaccine when it becomes available to the public, we should consider those at a greater risk of contracting the virus. In fact, patience might be the most wonderful gift for students in this holiday season.

According to a Dec. 3 recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], healthcare and essential workers, those with underlying medical conditions and people 65 years and older hold the first spot in line.

Healthcare personnel fight the coronavirus head on in environments that expose them to it, putting them at a higher risk than other groups. We must give these people the rightful place in line to continue helping others battle the virus.

Remembering the immunocompromised and elderly who are more vulnerable to COVID-19, teenagers should wait to get inoculated.

Normally, pharmaceutical companies spend 10-15 years in development of such medical supplies, according to the CDC; so in comparison, Pfizer and Moderna have accepted the challenge President Donald Trump has set in creating what he termed as “Operation Warp Speed.” At the same time, such a quick debut points to potential risks and negative side effects.

In 1955, Cutter Laboratories released an underdeveloped vaccine with live polio viruses, causing 40,000 new cases of the disease and the paralysis of 200 children and death of 10, according to an online article from the National Center for Biotechnology Information [NCBI].

Despite these risks, the current COVID-19 situation calls for urgent action, and vaccinating vulnerable groups would be the best way to ensure their safety.

The coronavirus shots won’t yield the same detrimental side effects as the Cutter incident because of its quicker legal processing and approval, according to a Dec. 8 article in The Guardian. Having more priority because of its urgency, it is backed by faster legal processing, which significantly cuts down the time needed to create a vaccine.

According to the NCBI, taking a vaccine shouldn’t cause concern since trustworthy companies like Pfizer and Moderna went through different phases of testing for abnormalities and underwent thorough inspection to ensure its health and safety.

While the coronavirus vaccines offer a cause to celebrate the season, we must put our impatience aside to help those who need it most — in true holiday spirit.

The Accolade editorial board is made up of the top editors and section editors on staff with the guidance of adviser Tommy Li. If you have a question about the board’s decision or an issue for the board to discuss and write about, please send an email to [email protected]

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 14 print issue, which can be read here.