Now there are lots of incentives for someone to get vaccinated; whether it be to fly, go to work, or even to just eat inside your favorite restaurant. The new mandate at Kaiser High School states that only those who have been vaccinated may play in a sport. But this is seen as an inconvenience to those whose parents (or self) are against the vaccination. The majority of the upperclassmen who have actively been in Kaiser sports for years now will get vaccinated so they can continue playing but the incoming freshman who have never experienced high school sports, may not participate due to this new mandatory placement. Though most students understand the precautions being taken, since the majority of sports require close contact, the first years who maybe would’ve liked to try a new sport before will no longer want to since they don’t have a huge incentive to do that extra step. Most interviewed Kaiser students claimed they didn’t really mind the mandatory vaccine, or had an opinion, but some students took the vaccine specifically to play sports.
The new mandatory vaccine rule has had its benefits and disadvantages. While it is good to prioritize students’ safety, sadly, some prospective student athletes may have been lost. Faith Carrillo (9) stated, “I was really looking forward to playing softball but I wasn’t allowed to because my dad isn’t comfortable with me getting the vaccine. Which is why if the vaccine wasn’t mandatory I would join.” For Carrillo, receiving the vaccine wasn’t even an option, and now the only school activity she can participate in after school is clubs.
Soraya Nasserghandi (9) decided, “I wanted to keep myself safe as well as participate in sports,” Because she values health and has a longtime history with sports she determined that she would get the vaccine. The delay in sports season also made an impact on the Kaiser students’ high school experiences, “Ever since I was younger I looked forward to the high school sports games, but now they’re pushing them back,” Nasserghandi continued. Although the mandatory vaccine on sports can be troublesome to some students, many believe it is a logical response to the issue. “It’s reasonable, the precautions they’re taking, though it is a sneaky way of getting people to become vaccinated,” adds Nasserghandi.
Equal, if not more to the amount of students who minded the new rule were those who weren’t bothered at all. “I didn’t really care that much, I thought what’s more important, sports, or one little shot,” Brennan Tefry (9) says. Like Tefry, most students glided by the issue, as there’s not much to do about it either way. And while thoughts on the topic varied, those interviewed claimed they couldn’t decide between if the mandatory vaccine is necessary or not. Skye Alverado (9) says, “I think it’s necessary, but I also have a lingering feeling that it’s not”. Recently, fewer and fewer students have been participating in sports games. And some sports that don’t have enough students could potentially get cancelled.
The mandatory vaccine may be inconvenient, but sports are something where precautions must be made as it is an unavoidable close contact activity and when masks may not be an option. It’s an undeniable fact that the unvaccinated hold a higher risk to spread COVID-19 yet personal issues and family preferences cannot be changed, so the school and those who are restricted will miss out on what could’ve been. Some have no opinion, others are uncertain, and plenty of students are disappointed in having to drop the sports they love. The mandatory rule may have disadvantages that outweigh the benefits, but is it the right thing to do? What would the consequences of abolishing this rule have on Kaiser? As we have to assume the worst of COVID-19 it is natural to put up precautions but now that we are back in person, how far can we push the limits?