Protect LAUSD students’ health; enforce staff, faculty vaccinations


Daniela Rangel

As coronavirus case numbers in Los Angeles County drop from a spike in December, newly reported cases and ICU bed occupation are still very high.

Nathalie Miranda

Almost a year into the pandemic that forced students out of school, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) still doesn’t have a return date. Ensuring all staff is vaccinated before reopening will provide a safeguard for returns and the health of students. 

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner shared on Feb. 8 that the earliest reopenings of elementary schools would only be made possible through the vaccination of 25,000 district employees. However, to ensure safety of all, district teachers and staff must receive the vaccine before returning to in-person school.

Vaccinating staff prior to returning to school would benefit not only those returning to campus but also students struggling with distance learning. Insuring the health of instructors will allow for students to return to school and remain there with a lessened risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Getting the vaccine would also send students back to school much quicker. While some students haven’t had a huge problem with school this year, there are many students struggling, especially students learning English. The number of failing grades for students learning English has increased by 15 percent this school year. Many students would benefit greatly if they returned to school and making the vaccine available to teachers would allow students to go back quicker and still be safe. 

So far, the Pfizer-BioTech vaccine has shown 95 percent effectiveness and the Moderna vaccine has shown 94.1 percent effectiveness in preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in people who haven’t had the illness yet. Additionally, the side effects from both vaccines have been relatively mild, with only a few people experiencing a bit more severe side effects.

Experts also believe getting a vaccine can prevent serious illness even if someone contracts COVID-19. While it is still unknown how long the protection from the virus will last, it is clear that getting the vaccine can help protect others. Though students will still be unable to get the vaccine, if teachers who can safely get the vaccine do get it, it will increase the safety of those around them. Wearing a mask and social distancing will only do so much in slowing down the spread but the vaccine is the main tool in putting a stop to the pandemic.

While many people have no problem with the vaccine, there are a good amount of people who have many concerns. One of their biggest concerns is getting COVID-19 from the vaccine. This is something that has not been proven to be true. The vaccine does not contain the live virus that makes people sick, so there’s no chance of getting seriously sick from the vaccine. 

Most of the common concerns about the vaccine have been disproven and health officials have repeatedly assured the public that the vaccine is safe. Those that can safely get it need to get the vaccine so that this pandemic can hopefully come to an end and students can get the education they deserve.