Our Opinion: Students have responsibility to get vaccinated

Constant reminders to cough into your arm and wash your hands reinforce the reality of the H1N1 virus threat at the University of Miami. To further safeguard students, the H1N1 vaccine is scheduled for an Oct. 16 release on campus. However, some students do not plan to receive the shot, an irresponsible decision.

Those who decide against vaccinations generally do so because they are misinformed. It is a misconception that a vaccine will make you seriously ill. Although some severe reactions do occur, they happen infrequently.

Students should recognize the risk in not receiving the H1N1 vaccine. Since a weakened form of the virus is included in the shot, those who do not get it will not be able to build up a defense. If they contract the virus, students will not have the antibodies needed to ward off more dangerous active strains.

As college students, it is our responsibility to receive all available vaccinations, including both the flu and H1N1 shots. We live, eat, and study together. This communal living not only puts other students in our dorms at risk, but also the teachers, cleaning staff and dining hall workers we interact with on a daily basis.

Since our campus is centrally located in Coral Gables, we also threaten the health of the community. Commuter and residential students alike shop in the same supermarkets and frequent the same restaurants as those who reside in the area year-round. It is our duty to make responsible decisions when it comes to vaccinations, in order to safeguard the residents of Coral Gables as well as our school community.

Deciding whether or not to receive the flu and H1N1 vaccinations is a personal decision, but it is important that students understand the impact of their choice. By getting the shot, you are helping to ensure the wellness of your fellow students and community. Sacrificing a few minutes of your time and a quick pinch… is that really too much to ask?

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

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