In the time of COVID-19, for the past nine-plus months, during which we have seen over 300,000 American citizens die, you would think it's great news that we have a vaccine. In countries like Canada and the United Kingdom, it is. They are passing new laws that will make it so anyone who wants a vaccine can get it. But in America, it's a whole different story.  

More than 55% of Americans say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine, with democrats and older Americans among the most willing to get vaccines. If more than 55% of Americans want this test, why is it that more than 40% don’t? Among the 40% of Americans that don't want the vaccination is a group of people known as “anti-vaxxers,” notorious for not wanting or taking any vaccinations, and who believe there is “not enough testing,” or that vaccine is rushed. This vaccine is not rushed. Scientists have employed new technology-based on MRNA to craft the vaccine rather than using a dead virus, which was their past method. They also had a solid base of research to build on, based on the “SARS” epidemic from 2002 to 2003 and 2012, respectively, according to reports by The Associated Press. The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have been in the works since mid-March, and some vaccines started trials as early as July 2020. As we now know, both vaccines are nearly over 95% effective, and there is a third vaccine on the way.

In my opinion, anyone who wants a vaccine should be able to get a free vaccine provided by the government. Those who don't won’t have to get one, but there will be consequences. For example, I feel it's absolutely necessary to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you want to return to school or work, or travel outside of the state or country. 

It’s not much to ask. You can still go out in public without the vaccine and work from home if you choose to do so, but the vaccination should be mandatory to ensure the safety of your co-workers and classmates. Without solid proof of vaccination, people who have decided against taking the vaccine will be at a disadvantage in terms of accessing schools, commerce and social gatherings. 

After all, it’s not just the high rate of mortality associated with the virus that has impacted our society. It’s the loss of jobs, the weakening economy, and the loss of confidence for people to go back to work or feel safe shopping and eating at restaurants. 

The more people who get vaccinated as quickly as possible, the quicker we can approach herd immunity. Once we have herd immunity, everything can start to return to the way it was. Anyone who refuses the vaccine only slows down this process impacts the lives of countless others who are trying to return to normal ways of life. 

So, in conclusion, get vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and has been tested. Keep your family, friends, co-workers, classmates, and society safe, and of course wear your mask. If we do these things, we will be on our way back to our normal ways of life and this virus can be something future generations read about in history books. We don't want to be seen as people who didn't wear their masks, or people who didn't care about others’ safety. We want to be the people who survived a global pandemic and did everything they possibly could to make sure everyone they care for was safe, and had empathy for the families of the deceased due to COVID-19. Do the right thing.