With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting lives daily, the talks these days have been all been about the vaccine.
Currently, 49.1% of residents in Walker County are vaccinated with one vaccine dose, while 41.9% are fully vaccinated with two dosages as of Sunday, Oct. 3, according to CovidActNow.org.
Both former and current Huntsville, Texas residents comment on the drive towards vaccination and how it will affect them.
“I definitely was one of those on the fence and not too sure,” Sam Houston State University senior agricultural communications major Kaitylnn Jensen said.
Jensen’s mother and brother came down with COVID-19; Jensen self-quarantined with her family. She received no symptoms prompting the rest of her family to get the vaccine.
“If you are vaccinated and don’t show symptoms, but you can test positive for COVID, are you basically spreading it around to everybody else and infecting everybody else who aren’t vaccinated,” Jensen said.
SHSU senior communication major Logan Banks has been unable to receive the vaccine due to an auto-immune disorder.
“I was pretty excited to get a vaccine that would allow, one, let me go back to school and finish my classes but also, two, make sure I and everyone could be safe,” Banks said
She said she had belief when the first COVID-19 vaccines were being distributed outback in 2020.
At the time of the vaccine release, she lived in a Huntsville apartment but moved back to her mother in the Fort Worth area weeks ago. Banks’ mother took the vaccine, and the senior viewed that act as protective. With limited information on how people with auto-immune disorders are affected by the vaccine, Banks has held off on taking the vaccine.
“I decided I was not going to be the guinea pig.” Banks said.
Approximately 8% of Americans have an auto-immune disease and while an extra dose of the vaccine does seem promising, there are still studies being run to examine the vaccine’s effect on the population, according to the National Institute of Health.
“I think overall that it is positive because with any vaccine, or any medication really, there are going to be people who can’t take it, like me, at least at the moment, then other people who it just doesn’t react well with it,” Banks said.
Other Huntsville residents are conflicted on balancing safety and freedom when it comes to the vaccine.
“I do believe we are going in the right direction, but people do have a choice whether they want it or not,” Memories Unlimited photographer and Huntsville resident Josh Robbins said.