Weighing the options: Cal State LA students consider the COVID-19 vaccines

Mia Alva, Staff Reporter

With COVID-19 vaccine sites popping up in California, Cal State LA students are beginning to think about which vaccine they should take, or if they want it all.

Senior Martha Nerio works as a healthcare worker through an eye specialist company. Nerio’s coworkers, who are doctors and other health professionals, already got the vaccine and informed her about the differences between her options: Pfizer and Moderna.

“My coworkers expressed that the Moderna was causing allergic reactions and so they told me to take Pfizer,” said Nerio. Besides the potential for allergic reactions, she still had other anxieties about the vaccine.

“I think that knowing there are more strains of COVID out there makes me question the vaccine’s effectiveness in the future,” added Nerio. Moderna recently found that despite being more effective to the U.K. variant over the one from South Africa, the vaccine still offers protection against the two strains.

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) reports of the two major vaccines showed mostly similar symptoms and ingredients, according to Health. The FDA reported that Pfizer was only .4% more effective than Moderna, 95% and 94.1% respectively.

A small informal survey of 74 students conducted by the University Times, showed that 68% of students will take the vaccine when it becomes available to them compared to the 32% that said they wouldn’t.

The survey also showed that almost half of the students, or 52%, who took the survey are healthcare workers, essential workers, or at risk with their health.

Some students are still confident about the effectiveness of the vaccine and its potential to fight off the virus.

Sophomore Alexis Padilla puts all her trust into the vaccine and sees it as “a major step in the right direction to helping fight COVID-19.”

Padilla treated this like any other vaccine: “There are possible side effects for every other vaccine I have taken throughout my life, which doesn’t make this one any different.”

Padilla did say she drew concern based on the rapidness of the production of the vaccine. Despite her worries, Padilla is putting her trust in the, “science and health workers who have worked hard to find an effective way to fight off this virus.”

Knowing that the vaccine isn’t 100% effective and that not everyone will choose to take the vaccine, Padilla said she will still follow COVID guidelines like wearing her mask and social distancing.

First-year student Victoria Santana is on board to take the vaccine but not before she researches more about the different types of vaccines and the science behind them.

Santana shared the same concerns as Padilla on how fast the vaccine came out, but she still believes that “so much money was put towards [the vaccine].”

Santana added that “it is always good to be extra cautious and protected” even after getting the vaccine.
Like other students, senior Edwin Murillo is taking his research seriously by not, “trusting sources on social media until [he] has gone to another website.”

Murillo kept track of the rising number of cases since March of last year, and said, “I would run to the opportunity to take the vaccine because of how high the numbers are.”

Cal State LA is currently working with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and state officials to become a vaccination site. Murillo, Santana and Padilla all said they’d take the chance to get the vaccine from the safety of their own school.