RAMAZ ROUND TABLE: Upon the widespread release of a Covid-19 vaccine, should it be mandatory that students get the vaccine to attend school?


Ethan Davidovitch ’22

By the time teenagers are able to get vaccinated for Covid-19, the performance and potential side-effects of the vaccines will already have been determined. Getting inoculated will likely not be widely available until spring of 2021, and possibly even longer than that for those under the age of 16. Because of this, there will be no argument against teenagers getting vaccinated, as the excuse that no one knows what it may do becomes irrational. Teens are also, of course, a low-risk population for contracting any of the negative effects the vaccine might have. Thus, Ramaz should mandate getting the vaccine for all its students as a safety measure, in addition to playing a role in helping to end the pandemic. Yes, I am saying that Ramaz should be making a medical choice for all of its students, and if a student does not get an established vaccination, then that student should not be allowed to come to school. That student endangers other students and teachers and only helps to drag on this endless pandemic. When the time comes for young Americans to get vaccinated, whether that be the fall or spring of 2021, Ramaz should require it for any student who wishes to come to school.


Hannah Tambor ’21

Now that Moderna, Pfizer, and other companies are releasing vaccines to combat the coronavirus, many are excited at the prospect of immunity. However, there are many unanswered questions regarding a vaccine developed in the span of eight months. What are the short and long-term side effects? How long are you protected? Should Ramaz require students to take the vaccine? 

Although I am a strong believer in the vaccine and would happily take it, it would be unfair of the school to require students to get vaccinated before being allowed to enter the building. This vaccine has been developed quickly and in a time of panic and fear. It is still unclear what the immediate and lasting side effects are, as well as its effectiveness. The vaccine injects a light strain of the coronavirus into people. While some have faith in it, this is a very scary concept to many. The vaccine could cause diseases that we aren’t aware of.

At the start of the next academic year, it is reasonable to mandate vaccination for students. Yet, now, at this early stage in the vaccinating process, no one should have to take the vaccine if they are not comfortable doing so.


Yitzhak Tucker ’23

Every student should be required to get the Covid-19 vaccine – once it’s accessible to everyone – before returning to school. Unlike coronavirus testing, mandating vaccination is a policy Ramaz can uphold. With coronavirus testing, students would need to be continually tested. However, a vaccine does not pose this problem. While not necessarily a one-and-done process, students would definitely get the vaccine much less frequently than they would get tested. A student simply needs to get a quick shot and then they can go to school every day, without constantly getting retested or revaccinated. Not to mention the fact that unlike the coronavirus testing, the vaccine actually helps prevent the virus. If every student were vaccinated, the risk of an outbreak would likely be very low.

If we want the pandemic to end, the best way to do that is for everyone to get vaccinated. It’s quick, easy and safe, and it doesn’t really have any downsides, except for a little stinging in your arm. Instead of trying to keep up with the virus, we can actually start preventing it. The vaccine is not infallible, but the more people get vaccinated, the lower the chance is of more outbreaks. If every student were required to get the vaccine, we would make school a much safer place. 


Nicole Hirschkorn ʼ22

Covid-19 has turned the world as we know it upside-down in less than a year. In the past 10 months, hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost, businesses have collapsed, and seemingly, every aspect of life has been altered. Over the course of the pandemic, it became clear that the only end in sight (without tens of millions of lives lost) would be the release of the Covid-19 vaccine to the public. From the beginning of March, scientists have been working nonstop to develop a vaccine to end the pandemic. Recently, companies such as Pfizer and Moderna have released the desperately sought-after vaccine, and millions of people have already been vaccinated.

I don’t like the idea of being a lab rat for a new, rushed vaccine. Yet, the consequences of boycotting the vaccine will be dire. Almost two million people have died from Covid-19, and its effects have only been negative. Businesses will only continue to suffer under lockdowns, elderly people will only continue to suffer from isolation and depression, and uncertainty will only rise without the vaccine. Herd immunity is not an option; not only will there be countless unnecessary deaths, but experts are uncertain as to how long this process could take. The vaccine should be mandatory for all students without pre-existing conditions that could affect their reaction to it. I’m not saying that we should be eager to take the vaccine, but taking it is the best and most logical choice.