Hit me with your best shot

Header image for the article Hit me with your best shot Credit: HANNAH THEODORE
The LHSC vaccination centre at the Western Fair Agriplex.

On June 3, Fanshawe College announced that all students living in residence must provide verification of being partially or completely vaccinated against COVID-19. The college’s decision aligns with other post-secondary institutions across Ontario like the University of Toronto and Western University.

As a Fanshawe student, I firmly approve of the college’s decision. I believe that all individuals deserve the right to a formal education, but the safety and wellbeing of everybody is crucial. In addition, dwelling on campus is common amongst individuals who apply for an education from an institution outside of London, Ont. As many programs and scholarships are specific to Fanshawe, the college takes great pride in welcoming and instructing scholars from around the globe. The college is also willing to assist students unable to obtain the vaccine in their home district. 

Like everyone nationwide, I also witnessed the rise of COVID-19 cases and the tragedies they caused. The media’s endless reporting of death tolls and locations with outbreaks are a few examples of the many things that kept us on the edge. I also miss my pre-COVID lifestyle and am overtaken at the slightest steps forward as society attempts to return to ‘normal.’

I understand the numerous questions surrounding vaccines from their efficacy to their side-effects. Multiple resources on the safety and data of vaccines are provided by sources such as the Government of Canada and the World Health Organization. Being cautious is important, but doing research will help settle anxious feelings towards the vaccine. It also helped me to know the history of vaccines throughout time.

Vaccines were responsible for eradicating illnesses like polio, smallpox, rinderpest, and others. Since the early instances of the coronavirus, healthcare professionals have been rigorously working to cease cases prior to the development of vaccines. Now, much to their delight, with countries like Canada having delivered over 26 million doses to its citizens, the disappearance of the virus is achievable.

Being an off-campus student, I acknowledge that I will not be able to relate to the struggles of moving into a college dorm, especially now with the nuisance of an added requirement of a vaccine. But I am also a student and someone who loves shopping, travelling, and dining out. I know that to protect myself, my family, and others, I may also be required to be vaccinated.

Currently, the Trudeau administration has revoked the 14-day hotel-stay order for fully vaccinated Canadians. As time continues and many of us return to our regular lives, the wellbeing and protection of others should be our leading priority. The government had mandated masks as a means of guarding us in locations with limited people. As we begin to shift in more populated crowds for events, schools, parties, and other gatherings, vaccines promise a better defense mechanism against the virus.

Since 1982, Ontario has mandated that all children attending schools be vaccinated against diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, varicella, and more. Moreover, the province has also exempted those with medical, ideological, and religious concerns. As someone who was raised entirely in Ontario, I, like many others, am incredibly thankful that I was protected from many diseases due to this obligation.

UPDATE: This article includes information regarding COVID-19 vaccination policies at Fanshawe College. Since the publishing of this article, the college has announced that COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory to attend campus in the fall. Those who are not yet fully vaccinated, or have an approved exemption, will be required to participate in testing. Visit fanshawec.ca/covid-19 for more information.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.