How I Feel About COVID-19 Vaccine Becoming Available to Students

By Jolie Prins

As students and professors continue yet another semester at The University of Tampa, with COVID-19 looking over their heads, we think to ourselves how much we can sacrifice and give up to keep ourselves safe and healthy.

After weeks of exciting news about the vaccine trials’ promising results, a small subset of students and professors are receiving vaccines. Clinical trials show the first two vaccines are about 95% effective at preventing people from getting sick with COVID-19. With that being said, even I am a little anxious to receive this myself.

There are currently two COVID-19 vaccines for available use to the public. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted an Emergency Use Authorization for Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. These are the two primary vaccines, but which one can we trust?

The number of available vaccines is expected to increase in the weeks to follow. Some students are jumping to this idea, while others may have a different outlook.

“As I am a nervous person to begin with, being offered a vaccine in New Jersey where I live made me feel a sense of relief. My mom called me saying I indeed qualified, and I jumped to the idea, packed my bags, and left to go home for the vaccine,” said Emily Stevens, senior communications major. “I had to miss in-person lectures for this, but I thought to myself my health is the most important to me right now.”

Many students feel uncomfortable being in classrooms or even in public due to how easily this virus is spreading.

Meeting for classes or even student help has become difficult. Whether it is nerves or anxiety about how well the vaccine works or if you should sacrifice missing school for it, or even whether or not you should even get the vaccine is crossing mostly everyone’s minds.

A growing share of people around the world intends to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Still, many are conflicted or have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine or vaccines in general.

Several students around the UT campus have said that they would not get vaccinated. Many students argue that they do not believe in conspiracy theories, but they are not convinced to get this vaccine just yet.

“I stand my ground, and I will not be getting this vaccine. I am not convinced one bit,” said Yianni Hronis, junior accounting major. “People around me are out there getting vaccines left and right. I will not be compromising making money at work or missing school for that, no way. Also, them having records of my name tied to the vaccine makes me feel weird.”

There are many others like Hronis around the UT’s campus. Some are found stuck between two decisions based on which action to take.

However, students that already did receive the vaccine have felt severe side effects from it.

“I felt like I was stuck. I didn’t want to get the vaccine because I felt like it was too soon,” said Noah Beidel, junior sports management major. “But I also do not want to get COVID-19 or be a harm to others in society. I decided to get the vaccine when I had the opportunity to. When I did, the side effects were insane. It felt like I had the flu times 20 for three days. I couldn’t even get out of bed.”

On the other hand, UT is doing a great job at trying to keep the campus safe. From the social distancing within the classrooms to doing hybrid classes, keeping large group attendance down to small as possible is what keeps us students safe on campus.

Personally, I find that the professors are doing a fantastic job at working with what is there. They had to adapt to a new learning environment, and they are doing great at it.

Ultimately, I find that the UT professors are also very considerate when it comes to many COVID-19 issues within the classroom. They work with us as students and young adults to come to the right solution due to these pandemic circumstances.

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