Oles, it’s your turn to take the vaccine

Illustration by Anna Weimholt

 

 

Just last week I was sitting at my computer finishing the last of my Sunday homework grind. All of a sudden, I received an email from a friend, with a link to a vaccination clinic sign-up in Faribault. My pace quickened, my hands felt sweaty and my stomach flip-flopped in adrenaline-motivated excitement.

This was it! This was my time to get the vaccine! However, I couldn’t help but stop and think — should I wait? Should I allow someone more deserving, more needful to take my spot? It’s an ethical dilemma that I have discussed with family and friends, but I’m here to argue that if you have an opportunity to get your vaccine, take it.

As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic and heard on the news, the distribution efforts aren’t perfect. So, if you have some idea that your dose will go to someone more deserving, that’s not likely. Those with the most severe medical conditions have been given priority, and several clinics across Minnesota are still only vaccinating the most vulnerable. Additionally, the fantastical answer to our pandemic problems — herd immunity — will only be reached if enough people take the vaccine. Each person who gets the shot is another step closer to normalcy.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has continuously stressed, being vaccinated not only limits the chance that you yourself will catch COVID-19, it also decreases the chance that you can pass it off to others. That’s not to say we should all try selling our masks on eBay or that you should become a below-the-nose masker, but becoming vaccinated can help protect your friends, too.

Additionally, college-aged people are more likely to spread COVID-19 asymptomatically, which further points to the importance of getting the vaccine even if you are reluctant to decide whether or not you are worthy. With the new B.117 variant floating around the United States and increased spread on campus, it’s more important than ever to reduce your transmission risk if you have the chance. 

So, you decided to take your spot and get the jab. What should you do next? If it’s a community vaccination opportunity, I would suggest forwarding the link to as many people in your close circle as possible. Ideally, your social bubble might get the chance to get vaccinated in one fell swoop. However, most vaccination appointments through commercial pharmacies such as Walmart, Walgreens or CVS are few and far between and are more inconsistent when forwarded to others.

If you want to find a vaccine for yourself or for others, I would recommend joining a Facebook group such as Minneapolis Vaccine Hunters, or following @MNVaccineAlerts on Twitter, to be updated when new openings are available. If you are off of social media, many clinics in Northfield and up into the Twin Cities have waitlists that you can join. Lastly, Minnesota’s vaccine connector service may give you the chance to be vaccinated through community clinics.

As is the case with everything this semester, getting vaccinated is a team effort. So, if you have a link — share it! If you find some openings at a commercial pharmacy — share them! And, if you feel comfortable, consider offering rides for other Oles who might need transportation to an appointment outside of Northfield. In the meantime, mask up Oles!


boldt3@stolaf.edu

Claire Boldt ’22 is from

Appleton, WI.

Her major is political science.