Editor’s note: Rai Goyal is a sixth grader in New York. The opinions expressed in this comment belong solely to its author. Read more opinions here.
(CNN) – I am 12 years old and I have already received the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine. This is what I would like to tell my friends:
Last year I was the new kid in school when I entered sixth grade. He was looking forward to making new friends, playing basketball, and having sleepovers. Instead what we got were remote classes; classes in which many of us had the cameras turned off because we had just got up and we were ashamed of how we looked; Endless socializing over Roblox and Fortnite, where we knew each other only by our in-game names. Don’t get me wrong, I like video games, but maybe I want to know what you really look like, not what your costume looks like in Fortnite.
We have been locked up for a year. That represents 1/12 of our lives. And, strangely, after a while you get used to it. When I leave the house, it bothers me a bit to have to wear shoes. I love my Nike Air Jordans and I have never felt like this. It’s a bit strange.
My parents are doctors who have treated patients throughout the pandemic, and hearing their stories has made me think about it in ways that many 12-year-olds probably would not. So, I did a little research on the vaccine and gave a presentation to my social studies class about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that was recently approved for children in our age range (12-15 years). It does not seem like a difficult decision if injecting ourselves a couple of times will allow us to relax the use of masks and spend time together IRL (in real life). But, there are some doubts about whether the covid-19 is a hoax, or if it is related to the 5G network or microchips in our bloodstream, and most importantly, if this vaccine is safe, taking into account that we have a lifetime left. to live. Will we grow more limbs? Will we ever be able to have children? Will we get even better at Fortnite, much to the regret of our parents?
This is what I think: there are no absolutes in life, nor in science. But you have to trust something, and I deeply respect my doctors, my science teachers, and the reasoning of people who study this disease and associated vaccines. I don’t like vaccines at all, but I also don’t like the way our world is now. They tell me that you can’t get COVID from the vaccine, and I believe it. My parents were vaccinated before and they are fine. The rest of the conspiracy theories and ideas about microchips etc. just don’t make logical sense, and have been shown to be false. If someone wants to track me, they can ping my cell phone (which is always in my pocket). Or they can stick one of those Apple Tiles on my shoe. That seems a lot easier than inserting some kind of tracker into my bloodstream.
That is how Pfizer’s covid vaccine works: A small amount of protein called mRNA (which codes for a part of the ‘armor’ that surrounds the virus particles) is injected into the bloodstream. This triggers your body to recruit an army of soldiers called “antibodies” to stand guard in case any virus that causes COVID-19 tries to infect you. The ability of your immune system to recognize that armor makes you capable of fighting real disease if it crosses your path.
Friends, my advice is this: do your own research from highly trusted sources, listen to the science, and take a look at the world around us. We have to end this pandemic, and if our age group is not vaccinated, there will always be a significant part of the population that continues to pass the virus and create opportunities for mutations. Roll up your sleeves and get that shot, and if your doctor uses a “pain-blocking device” like mine does, you’ll barely feel the sting anyway. Let’s go back to the future.