Schools should require vaccinations for in-person learning

FCPS should consider requiring vaccinations for all in-person students for the 2021-2022 school year


Image obtained via Creative Commons

When the COVID-19 vaccine was released, it shone a glimmer of hope across the world as it seemed that progress was being made in this treacherous pandemic. With this good news came the reopening of Fairfax County Public Schools, giving students the option to stay virtual or transition into in-person learning.

However, this notion poses the risk of transmission through students. There should be a rule for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year that permits students at least 16 and up to get vaccinated before attending school.

Since the vaccine was publicized, there have been over 300,000 million people vaccinated across the US and over 1 billion globally. However, there are still a number of students in FCPS that are not vaccinated and attending schools.  

Despite this, FCPS introduced a plan to change in-person learning to five days instead of four for the incoming school year. There are still a number of students that are not vaccinated for a plethora of reasons, even including the simple refusal to do so due to political beliefs.

Furthermore, with the yearly flu season during the winter months and with weakened immune systems due to lack of Vitamin D from staying inside, there is an increased risk of students catching COVID-19.

FCPS schools have a responsibility to students to provide a safe environment, regardless if participating in learning with other students in person is an option or not. They should be doing their part in effectively putting an end to this pandemic as soon as possible for the sake of their student’s safety as well as for the kids missing out on memorable moments in their high school years.

Even as cases decrease, the only way to ensure a fully risk-free learning environment for students is to require vaccinations before attending school in the Fall. This could be a huge step in the right direction for FCPS and the status of the pandemic.