Covid-19 vaccine available to essential workers


Tiffany McCune, Reporter

As of January 11, 2021, essential workers are eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine if they are 16 and older. This means that students at Tunstall High School may be able to receive the vaccine if they are essential workers and work at stores such as, Food Lion, Walmart, and local restaurants.

The vaccine is a very controversial subject all over the United States right now. Some Americans are nervous of the side effects, but others were ready to get the vaccine as soon as one is available.

This topic is also hotly debated with students who have their reasons for getting the vaccine or not.

Junior Jaden Shackelford feels very strongly about getting the vaccine because she doesn’t want to “pass it around to colleagues unknowingly.” She is one of the many students who wants to receive the vaccine for her safety, “I plan to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

“I wear my mask and wash my hands to protect others, and when it comes time, I will get the vaccine to protect myself,” Shackelford said.

The vaccine may not be able to prevent our students from receiving the virus, but it may, “lessen symptoms dramatically and make being sick much more bearable rather than being hooked up to a breathing machine,” Shackelford said.

Essential workers have to deal with all kinds of people in the public every day: some who follow the governor’s mandates and some who do not. This can have a very big impact on students who are eligible to get the vaccine. 

Another student, senior Kendall Moore feels unsanitary at times at work. Moore said, “Just handling their groceries in general makes me feel weird and unsanitary, since we do not wear gloves,” Moore said. 

“A lot of the customers don’t really care about the pandemic,” said Moore. “With all of that said, I would definitely get the vaccine,”  Moore said.

Kasie Shelton, a junior at Tunstall High School relates to Moore saying, “I wish that more people took the virus more seriously, especially now that there’s different strands of the virus evolving as well.” 

“Personally, I’m kind of scared of the vaccine,” said Shelton. “I’m already weird around needles and medicine.” Shelton would like to wait to get the vaccine saying, “I want to wait to get the vaccine until there’s more known about the virus and the vaccine/side effects for it.”

Shelton said, “I don’t know if it would be as effective as they want.” “Nobody knows what the side effects or long term side effects could be,” Shelton explains.

Others feel strongly about this vaccine saying, “I think this vaccine should be made mandatory, along with other vaccinations that could potentially save your life,” Shackelford said. 

Students who qualify as an essential worker are able to sign up for a vaccine appointment through the health department at various locations including The Old Dominion Agriculture Center and the Farmer’s Market on 629 Craghead St. Also, CVS will begin to offer the Covid-19 vaccine on February 11th, 2021, to those who may be eligible. There will be 36 different CVS locations in Virginia that will offer the vaccine. Two of which will be in Chatham and Danville.