The Mirror-Mar2021-ISSUE 3


The student-produced newspaper at Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles, California. Awarded the prestigious NSPA Pacemaker Award, the CSPA Silver Crown and 2021 1st place SCJEA Newspaper.

18| MARCH 2021 | | P R O & C O N |



Yes. I got it. I’m one step closer to normal.



It’s been over a year since covid-19

forced almost everyone into mandatory

quarantine. The lines defining

our daily lives have blurred.

Busy malls have become ghost towns.

Arenas that were packed with fans are

now just empty shells of what they used

to be. The routines of our normal lives

seem like a thing of the past.

But all it takes is two shots in the arm

to return back to normal.

Whether you have outlandish views

such as “vaccines create autism” or reasonable

views such as “the creation of the

vaccines were rushed”; you should still

take the vaccine.

Nearly $9 billion has been invested into

vaccine research and development. While

the rush to create a vaccine was a popular

concern amongst Americans, the Centers

for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

made information regarding development

easily accessible to the public. At each

stage, numerous tests were conducted

and required approval by multiple researchers,

doctors and officials.

While I feel the CDC has done a great

job at making sure the vaccines are effective

and safe, our federal government

has done a poor job at distribution and

administration of the doses.

I definitely agree those who are most

at risk should get the vaccine first. This includes

police officers, firefighters, military

members, healthcare workers, the elderly

and those who have underlying medical


The prioritization of those in the food


IMMUNITY With just two doses of a vaccine,

people are becoming resistant to a virus that

seemed to have no end in an attempt to return to


industry over teachers and students is concerning.

I am not saying that those in the

food industry are any less important than

everyone else, but the need to get schools

fully reopened is far more important.

Students are missing out on important

lessons because teachers have been

forced to reduce the amount of time they

can devote to online lessons. The school

day has been reduced by more than two

hours and classes only meet two days a

week instead of five. High school students

are being shortchanged and are undergoing

their most important years before

college. The information they are losing

out on are what some consider to be the

fundamental for the rest of their lives.

Preschool and elementary students are

losing out on valuable social skills that can

only be learned by interacting with their

classmates in a class.

Getting teachers and students back in

classrooms is important. Vaccines are

the answer.

I am someone who would like to be

back in class and participate in extracurricular

activities with no fear of catching

the virus and transmitting it to members

of my family. I want to resume hangouts

with my friends without worrying about

masks and social distancing, so I decided I

would get the vaccine.

The first and most difficult step in

getting the vaccine was scheduling an appointment.

It took about a week and I had

to repeatedly refresh California’s Department

of Public Health website, myturn.

com, the appointment scheduling site.

After several error messages and unavailable

appointment times I finally got a text

confirming my appointment.

I got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine

on March 10. When I arrived at the vaccination

site there were foldable chairs,

tents and long lines. When it was my turn,

volunteers asked me to present them with

an email confirming my appointment and

a recent pay stub along with a letter from

my employer as proof I worked in the

food industry. They immediately directed

me to the chairs behind them.

They asked me to keep my mask on

and present a valid driver’s license proving

I was old enough to get the Pfizer

vaccine, which is the only shot available

to those 16 and older. The staff offered

everyone water while they waited. Again

I had to present the required documents

and give my address, age and proof of


Next a nurse numbed my shoulder. I

was able to get a good look at the needle.

Although I typically get nervous and hate

getting shots I was eager to watch as the

needle penetrated the skin and the vaccine

dose was injected into my shoulder.

The shot felt no different than getting an

annual flu shot at the doctor’s office. After

injecting me, the nurse filled out the CDC’s

vaccine information card and handed it to

me to present when I got my second shot.

Next was a 15-minute supervised wait

period to see if I would show any adverse

symptoms. All the seats were socially

distanced, with nurses checking on those

whose wait time was almost completed.

When I asked a nurse if I could take pain

relievers such as Advil, they advised me

to stay away from pain relievers, since

they might reduce the effectiveness of the

first dose. When the wait was over I was

able to leave and head home. My only side

effect was a sore arm that lasted for less

than a week.

Although the process was nerve racking

and required a lot of patience, it was

worth it.

It means I’m one step closer to getting

back to my normal routine.

No. I’m passing. I won’t feed into the hype.


As excited as we are to regain

control of our lives,

we shouldn’t be so eager to

receive the vaccine. Americans

are rightfully concerned about the

vaccine’s testing and question if crucial

testing was overlooked because of rushed


A major concern is the credibility of the

drug manufacturers that mass produce

them. Pharmaceutical companies aren’t

being questioned enough and the public

is not doing enough personal research on

the manufacturers or the contents of the


One pharmaceutical company that

should raise concerns is AstraZeneca,

which produces medicine for respiratory,

metabolic and neurologic diseases.


In partnership with Oxford University

in Great Britain, the company created a

covid-19 vaccine.

In the past AstraZeneca paid millions of

dollars for false claims against U.S. federal

and state programs after marketing one of

their drugs for illnesses that were never approved

by the Food and Drug Administration

(FDA). Doctors were bribed to recommend

and prescribe the drug to patients

and by doing so, their health was at risk.

A company with a past like this shouldn’t

have the ability to produce and distribute a

vaccine because they’re unreliable.

Individuals who received the vaccine

reported some side effects ranging from

mild to severe fatigue, headaches, muscle

aches and fevers and according to the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(CDC) severe allergic reactions are

also possible. Unfortunately for others, the

result of the vaccine was fatality.

Recently, a Florida doctor who suffered

a fatal brain hemorrhage after receiving

the Pfizer vaccine is being investigated.

Pfizer claims to be actively investigating

the death but believes it was unrelated to

the vaccine.

Belief is not enough. Pfizer should

pull their vaccine until health officals are

certain the death is not a result of the


Instead of taking the vaccine, start with

quarantining at home. Continue to wear

face masks and regular disinfecting will go

a long way in offering protection.

Whether or not you decide to get vaccinated,

death is still a possible outcome

for both choices. There have been reports

of 23 deaths of elderly people who got


Those who choose to get vaccinated

should not stop following health procedures

like social distancing and wearing a

mask simply because they believe they’re

protected from covid-19. We can’t simply

rely on the vaccine.

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