Wed. Dec 8th, 2021
Ali Kochik
Managing Editor | + posts

As we approach midterm season and the trees start dropping their leaves as students walk to their respective classes, it’s starting to really sink in that we are back into the thick of it here on campus.

West Chester University has been doing fairly well, COVID-19 case wise. Since the administrative publishing of the COVID-19 dashboard on the West Chester website during the second week of school, we have seen that our numbers have dropped consistently since the initial 140 cases that were posted when the database went live. https://www.wcupa.edu/healthNotices/covidDashboard.aspx 

At the time that this is being written, we currently have 12 active cases on campus and 13 active cases amongst off-campus students, bringing us to a total of 25 active cases out of 15,000 students who attend classes on campus. 

While the consistent drop to our number is certainly something to be proud of, it is worth noting that, anecdotally, the winter has brought about an increase in case levels as people become stuck indoors and begin to attend potentially unsafe gatherings.

That being said, there is something that makes this coming winter quite different from the last. 

Vaccines!

Thanks to the genius that is science and technology, we have the opportunity to choose from three different vaccination brands — Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna — to arm ourselves against COVID-19 as the weather starts to get chilly again. 

While these immunizations have been available to the public since last spring—  and this certainly isn’t anywhere near breaking news—  the United States is beginning to roll out Pfizer booster vaccines for those who are most vulnerable to the virus and had received their initial dose(s) of the vaccine a minimum of six months prior.

This is very exciting news as it means the potential for added protection once the boosters become available to the college age group, especially now as variant strains, such as Delta and Mu, are on the rise. 

That added protection can only be had, though, amongst those of us who are fully vaccinated. And right now, only 66% of WCU students have stated that they are either full or partially vaccinated. 

According to an article published by CNN Health in July of 2021, these variants, which can lead to higher risks for unvaccinated people and breakthrough cases for the vaccinated, are spawned directly from the bodies of people who have not gotten the vaccine.

Within the article, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dr. William Schaffner, stated, “Unvaccinated people are potential variant factories…The more unvaccinated people there are, the more opportunities for the virus to multiply.” 

If we want to do our part for our community and for our school, it is in our best interest to get vaccinated as soon as possible so as to prevent new variants from emerging and to allow ourselves the added relief of being able to receive the boosters as soon as we can. 

Getting the now-FDA-approved vaccine isn’t an isolated decision that only impacts the individual. It is a decision that means protecting the people you care for and making sure that your community is as safe as it can be.

Herd immunity is defined by the World Health Organization as, “indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection,” and it is a very real thing. Until we all get on the same page, we all face the risks of the virus and the variants that will continue to pop up until we reach that state. 

This begins with each and every one of us utilizing the measures that we have been gifted in order to protect our own bodies, in addition to the bodies of everyone else who is just trying to make it through this pandemic, too. 

 


 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *