The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

Considering the high rates of cybercrime, people should keep their social media accounts private.
Share with care: People should keep social media accounts private
Leora Blumenthal, Reporter • February 29, 2024

As I scroll through Instagram, I see User 1981918 commented on a girl my age’s post, “go do the world a favor and kill yourself.” I imagine...

Israels most recent Eurovision win was in 2018, when Netta performed Toy. Photo used with permission.
Opinion: Israel should still participate in Eurovision
Aliza Bellas, Managing Editor, Copy • February 28, 2024

Just ten days ago, I stood in a crowd of over 3,000 Jewish teens watching Noa Kirel perform her hit Eurovision song, “Unicorn.” Although...

Ninio (far right) and family traveled Puerto Rico over winter break during Ninios time at JDS. Photo provided by Gili Schisterman.
JDS welcomes Israeli students relocated due to Israel-Hamas War
Maya Greenblum and Jordana DauberFebruary 28, 2024

As soon as Hamas’ attack on Israel occurred on Oct. 7, the realities of Israeli citizens were flipped upside down, causing a number of unprecedented...

The COVID-19 booster apathy

Ari Kittrie
The recent COVID-19 booster shot has gotten very little attention recently with only 7% of adults getting the booster shot and 2% of children getting the shot.

Three years after the pandemic, most everyone has moved past Zoom calls, masks and relentless hand sanitizing in a return to normal life. Pandemic fatigue might explain why only seven percent of Americans have received their updated vaccine this fall. But every week, about 18,000 hospitalizations and 1,200 deaths still occur due to COVID-19. If we want to mitigate the risks of COVID-19, we must continue protecting ourselves by getting the most up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations.

Despite the substantial decrease in the prevalence and risks of COVID-19 over the past three years, the CDC and medical professionals strongly recommend getting the updated vaccines (formerly known as “boosters”). This includes Kawsar Talaat, an associate professor in the department of international health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH).

“It’s important for everybody to get vaccinated so that we protect those of the communities that are the most vulnerable… older people and those whose immune systems can’t mount a good response to the vaccine,” Talaat said.

Currently, there are three updated vaccines in the United States. Two of these, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are mRNA-based vaccines, while the third one, Novavax, is a protein-based vaccine. Although they all function a little differently, Talaat says that all work well and the exact type “does not matter.” 

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Medical Officer Patricia Kapunan said that while COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory for school entry, MCPS strongly recommends the updated vaccine for students and faculty.  

Kapunan suggests students obtain updated vaccines at any retail pharmacy and suggests using to locate pharmacies with available vaccine doses. is a resource run by the CDC to provide updated vaccine information and scheduling tools. 

Kapunan also recommends the CDC’s Vaccines For Children (VFC) program held throughout MCPS as resources for students and families that do not have health insurance. 

Upper School Nurse Jillian Pedone noted that contacting a pediatrician is also a great resource, especially for high school students.

“Your pediatrician would also probably have them [the updated vaccines] available, and that’s really the best person to partner with to make those decisions,” Pedone said.

In regards to timing, Pedone said that the best time to obtain an updated vaccine is now. If one has not yet obtained the vaccine, For those who have recently contracted COVID-19, vaccines should be obtained three months after the infection, according to the CDC.

“I think you need to make the decision that is best for you in coordination with your doctor. I personally am getting the COVID booster…,” Pedone said. “But I think we all should be doing things that are helping keep us safe and healthy … like washing our hands, making sure if we’re sick, we’re staying home. And if we’ve learned anything from COVID it’s that there are little things that we can do to just not spread even a cold, not just COVID.”

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About the Contributor
Ari Kittrie, Managing Editor, Web
Being a Reporter and Opinion Editor during the last few years, Ari is ready to take on the position of Managing Editor. His experience includes being an Election Judge for the Montgomery County Board of Elections and volunteering for various politicians from all levels of government. Additionally, Ari enjoys in his free time wrestling, volleyball, and sometimes cooking.  

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