The Student-Run News Site of College of Lake County

The Chronicle

The Chronicle

The Chronicle

CLC biological sciences professor explains vaccination

CLC encourages all students to get their vaccinations this upcoming fall season especially. With the flu and COVID-19 at large, it is all hands on deck to protect ourselves, those who cannot get vaccinated, and the community as a whole.

This flu season, everyone can take protective measures to prevent catching and spreading any sicknesses, including COVID-19. Both the flu and COVID-19 are respiratory viruses—meaning, they can be transmitted when people sneeze, cough, or exhale. 

While CLC enforces a mask mandate, there exists a more effective solution. 

“Getting a vaccine is the best way to defend against the flu and COVID this season,” says Dr. Bob Remedi, a biological sciences professor at CLC.

Vaccinations are relatively new technology, as they have only been around for about two hundred years. Despite this, they have functioned as an extremely effective tool to rid the world of many deadly diseases.

“Throughout most of human history, when we got sick, we made antibodies, which are proteins designed to fight off pathogens,” Dr. Remedi said. But what exactly is a vaccine?

“Most vaccines are dead pathogens,” Dr. Remedi said. “By injecting that information into your body, the immune system can see them and recognize the invader.” 

Dr. Robert Remedi

In the case of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, a little piece of genetic material is injected. 

“We have special white blood cells called B cells whose job is to remember how to make antibodies against a virus,” Dr. Remedi added.

By getting a vaccination, the B cells form a memory of the pathogen, and they are able to recognize and destroy it when it enters the body again.

Thanks to vaccines, humans do not need to get sick in order for their immune system to make the needed antibodies to fight off a pathogen.

However, some people cannot get vaccinated or cannot produce the antibodies needed to fight illnesses like the flu and COVID-19. Perhaps the most vital concept to these people in our community is herd immunity. 

According to Dr. Remedi, herd immunity is “getting enough people in the population who are able to make the antibodies to protect the people who can’t.”

Cartoon by Castor Basa

Those with autoimmune disorders, the elderly, and those undergoing medical treatments that may weaken their immune systems are the individuals who herd immunity can protect.

Herd immunity requires the overwhelming majority of people in a community to be vaccinated in order to keep those vulnerable individuals safe. If a larger number of people refuse vaccination, the possibility of the pathogen infecting an at-risk person will remain steady.

“I understand the argument that people make about how important it is to make our own choices,” Dr. Remedi said. “But we have a long history of doing things for the greater good—protecting public health.”

Getting vaccinated is not only the responsible thing to do – it’s the American thing to do. Defending our fellow citizens from disease is a responsibility that all of us have a moral obligation to perform. 

To quote Dr. Remedi: “COVID-19 is a public health emergency. In my opinion, this is one of those times we need to do something for the greater good, and I am going to strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated, if they can.”

Image courtesy of

More to Discover