Getting vaccinated: Is it worth it?


Nurse Sue Hurley

Back in February, JTHS was a vaccination site for all JTHS staff and community members.

Natalie Bartelt, Views Editor

With COVID-19 numbers rising again due to the Delta variant, many state officials have been pushing now more than ever for vaccine mandates to stop the spread of the virus. 

Johns Hopkins University reported that COVID-19 cases were 300 percent higher over this Labor Day weekend than last year and many experts are putting blame on the unvaccinated as only 56.3 percent of the U.S. are fully vaccinated – 34.4 percent worldwide according to Our World in Data. 

Joliet Township District 204 Director of Human Resources Chris Olson informed that 81.33 percent of staff and approximately 33 percent of students are vaccinated at Joliet West. Whether vaccinated or not, all staff are required to still self-certify before reporting to work each day, while students only had to self-certify once at the beginning of the school year. 

According to the JTHS 204 District homepage (, the number of positive COVID-19 cases reported at West campus as of September 20 is a total of 57. The number of positive cases reported at Central Campus, which includes the Transition Center and Pathways building, as of September 27th was a total of 30. This does not include information as to how many overall had to quarantine due to exposure from these positive cases. Nor does this include information as to whether or not those who tested positive were previously vaccinated.

According to Assistant Principal, Ms. Wooten, 65 staff member and 834 students participiate in weekly shield testing for the test to stay protocol at Joliet West campus. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unvaccinated individuals are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized for catching the disease than those who are fully vaccinated. Chair of the Department of Health at California State University Arnab Mukherjea stated that although no vaccine is 100 percent effective, up to 99 percent of those experiencing severe illnesses from the virus are unvaccinated.

Whether or not people should get vaccinated has been a topic of discussion since vaccines were first released in late 2020. Feeding into the debate, Chief Medical Advisor to the president Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a Face the Nation interview that those who are unvaccinated are “propagating this outbreak.” 

West science teacher Mrs. Bloom wrote to Tiger Tales, “In my opinion, I think it is very important for people to get vaccinated if they can. I believe a lot of people are afraid of the vaccine because they are uneducated or are getting incorrect information from sources that are not credible. As a science teacher, I am lucky enough to understand how vaccines (and the tests needed for them to be approved) work, so I got the vaccine right away. I also made sure my family got their vaccines as well.”

On the other side of the argument, sophomore at West Brooke Schwall explained she has not gotten vaccinated as “…on this vaccine specifically, long term effects are not too promising and there is just not enough research.” Schwall assured that she is “not against” the vaccine, rather it is just “too new.”

On Friday, California became the first state to issue a vaccine mandate for schoolchildren with exceptions for medical reasons and children under 12. This is expected to influence other states to follow.