According to three UC Davis students, everyone should be vaccinated when possible and put their trust in the science behind the vaccine
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, society is still struggling to contain the virus. Although cases are still rising, a step toward potential change began on Dec. 14, 2020, with the first administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. Amid the nationwide rollout, the choice to take the vaccine is becoming a more pressing issue.
A study released on Dec. 3 revealed that 60% of Americans plan on receiving the vaccine when it becomes available to them. As the conversation continues, three UC Davis students shared why they believe taking the vaccine is the right choice.
Jane Casto, a second-year gender, sexuality and women’s studies and political science: public service double major, has decided to receive the vaccine when it becomes available. In response to the recent statement released by the UC President confirming in-person courses in fall 2021, Casto suggested that getting the vaccine is essential for the safe return of in-person classes.
“If instruction is going to absolutely be in-person, we’re putting everybody who is […] high risk in severe danger if we don’t get the vaccine,” Casto said. “And I don’t think there’s any sufficient evidence that [the vaccine will] be problematic for people, or be something that’s legitimately dangerous.”
Especially given this context, Casto shared her trust in science to deliver a safe vaccine to the public.
“When it comes to something like the vaccine for [the] global pandemic, I absolutely do put my faith in the scientists who came up with that vaccine, especially given the gravity of the situation,” Casto said.
While she is hopeful for the future, she emphasized the importance of continuing to sustain safety protocols. People who receive the vaccine could still experience an infection, and scientists encourage a continuation of social distancing after vaccination because they have not determined if a vaccinated individual could still spread the virus.
“I’m definitely hopeful for the future in terms of our potential to go back to normal,” Casto said. “What I would hope is that people can understand that we’re not going to get there as quickly as we may hope for, but it’s going to be something that we end up getting later.”
Thor Emblem, a second-year aerospace engineering major, is also planning on being vaccinated when possible.
“I don’t want to get the virus,” Emblem said. “I believe that [the virus is] real and that it’s actually potentially fatal, and I trust that the vaccine is safe.”
Beyond his trust in the data supporting the vaccine, Emblem shared his views on the importance of getting the vaccine to ensure the safety of others.
“Some people have legitimate reasons why they can’t get vaccines,” Emblem said. “So not getting a vaccine lowers herd immunity for those who can’t get it and makes it even more likely to contract the illness. Not only is it not dangerous [to receive the vaccine], but it’s actively endangering other people to not get it.”
After the pandemic struck, Emblem moved back home and left his job at UC Davis. For Emblem, the pandemic has had negative financial and social impacts, and he looks forward to returning to normalcy.
Safa Sareshwala, a second-year sociology and human development double major, received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in early January. Sareshwala works at the UC Davis Testing Center and was cleared to receive the vaccine during Phase 1 as a frontline worker.
“I thought it was a good opportunity to serve my community and also get the vaccine, not only for personal benefits [but] also so I can continue to serve my community,” Sareshwala said. “It’s just for the betterment of everyone.”
As a younger member of society, she was grateful to get the vaccine.
“I was actually honored because I’m only 19, one of the youngest people to get the vaccine so far,” Sareshwala said. “So it feels good. I didn’t have any major symptoms or anything like that. Just the normal sore arm and a small headache, but it went down in about 48 hours, which is normal.”
As Sareshwala continues to face exposure to the virus, she comes closer to reaching immunity as she is set to receive her second dose on Feb. 5. She encouraged those who are unsure about whether they should receive the vaccine to commit themselves to learning more in order to make an informed decision.
“I would suggest doing your own research, dedicating some time to read about the vaccine, educating yourself about the process of how vaccines are made,” Sareshwala said. “And then after that, I guess you just have to put your trust in the officials. Everybody has a job, and it’s their job to make us feel safe. So we just have to trust them.”
Written by: Nora Farahdel — firstname.lastname@example.org