Covid-19 vaccine approved for 16 years and older; students getting vaccinated

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Photo by Lizzie Nelson

Junior Lizzie Nelson holds her vaccination card after receiving her first Covid vaccine dose.

Millions of adults across the country have been getting their Covid-19 vaccine but, until recently, anyone under the age of 18 was ineligible for the vaccine. As of Apr. 19, all American citizens 16 and older are eligible to get the vaccine. “I was really excited to hear I was able to get my Covid vaccine,” junior Ben Ehrman said.

Johnson and Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer were all approved Covid-19 vaccines by the FDA. Pfizer is currently the only vaccine that has been approved for minors. “It’s free. It’s safe, and it’s how we’re going to bring this pandemic to an end,’’ President Joe Biden said. 

Since Biden has been in office, over 93 million Americans have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and over 130 million Americans have gotten their first Covid shot, surpassing Biden’s original goal to have 100 million vaccinations given in his first 100 days. “Maryland providers have now administered more than 4.37 million COVID-19 vaccines, and we are nearing 60% of adults vaccinated,” Governor Larry Hogan said. 

With the vaccine being open to all citizens 16 and up it can be difficult to get an appointment and people have had to travel far distances to get their shots. To get vaccinated you must first register online and complete a form to request an appointment. You will then be contacted when an appointment is available. If you are under 18 years old you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to be vaccinated.

When you arrive at your first vaccination appointment be prepared to schedule your appointment for your second dose and expect to be required to wait at least 15 minutes in case of an allergic reaction. “I got my first dose and already have an appointment for my second in two weeks,” Ermhan said. 

It only took me a few days to get my vaccine appointment, but I did have to drive pretty far for it.”

— Dason Miller

Junior Dason Miller got his first dose of the Covid vaccine Mar. 25 at a vaccine distribution center in Hagerstown. “It only took me a few days to get my vaccine appointment, but I did have to drive pretty far for it,” Miller said. 

Vaccinations are available through hospitals, pharmacies, local health departments and mass distribution sites. If you are eligible to receive your vaccine, find an appointment, schedule it and get both your shots to protect yourself and do your part in ending this pandemic.