Over the course of the past two years, the coronavirus has become widespread within the international community. With the nuanced confusion, stress, and fear surrounding the virus, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been working to create and distribute vaccines. Although many view this vaccine to be a viable solution to the pandemic, some are still left questioning its effectiveness.
One of the main issues on the table is that the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, stated that there was going to be a vaccine mandate for all students in the California School Districts. This announcement was met with uproar, as a large percentage of Californians strongly disagreed with getting their children vaccinated. So much so that it even pushed for parents to organize a protest against the vaccine on October 18th, pulling their children out of school to take a stand for what they believe in.
On October 18th, a group of at least 300 individuals in Huntington Beach were holding posters and protesting on the sides of the Pacific Coast Highway. People of all different ages and backgrounds could be seen expressing their anger and fighting for their rights. The air was filled with shouts and screams of “Let’s Go, Brandon,” and cars honked their horns in support of the protestors as they drove by. The chant is a reference to Joe Biden and the Republican party’s frustration with his presidency. Parents, teens, and children, would also run into the middle of the street at a red light to support going against the mandate.
At the protest, many local Huntington Beach citizens had strong opinions regarding the purpose of the event. Pat Miner, a kindergarten teacher, said, “I don’t want to be forced to do something that will impact the kids of our future generation with this vaccine, and then again it is just really stupid in my opinion.”
Malana Moore, a freshman at Huntington Beach High School was also there expressing her opinion. Her perspective was established when she publicly displayed her stance regarding the topic of coronavirus vaccinations on Instagram. At the protest, Moore stated, “The vaccine should be a choice. I don’t care if one of my friends, family members, etc, gets the vaccine, it’s their choice. But by enforcing it, you are causing a social outbreak of frustration which is not a good thing. I’m not anti-vax. I am anti-mandate and anti-being controlled and forced to do something I don’t want to do.”
Furthermore, besides the mandate that the governor is establishing, people think the vaccine is also dangerous. This can be related to the idea that people have died from getting the vaccine and the limited data regarding the long-term effects it has.
Kimberly, a woman who works in the genetic field and coding, and she said, “Although the vaccine has helped a significant amount of people in hospitals, this vaccine has not to undergo full precautions. Most vaccines on average take 5 to 10 years in order to even be approved by CDC to give to people, and they are expecting a vaccine that was made in less than a year to not have any side effects?”
In the end, there is still a large majority of Americans who believe the vaccine is a risk due to lack of research and the daunting feeling that the vaccine is being forced upon California residents. However, hopefully within the next few months, as a society, we can learn to respect one another to bridge the political divide and separation regarding the vaccine.