Teens finally eligible for vaccine

Devon Yoder
Staff Writer

2020 was a disastrous year for the entire world. Covid-19 cases skyrocketed as the year progressed, and measures could only be taken to control the cases, rather than prevent them. However, 2021 sought to change all of this, as three vaccines were created that were designed to prevent Covid-19 cases. To regulate the distribution of these vaccines, people were split into different demographic groups, which were then made eligible to get the vaccine, one at a time.

On April 19, all people aged 16 or older were finally made eligible to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. This was the first time a large number of high school students were given access to any of the Covid-19 vaccines, and many students are excited to finally get the chance to receive the vaccine.

The process itself is the same for teens as it is for everyone. Those who wish to get the Pfizer vaccine have to get it in two separate doses. They do this in a few simple steps. First, they schedule an appointment, which can be done online. Then, they go to one of the vaccination sites, such as the Oregon Convention Center. After waiting in a few lines, they will be given the shot, and then they will have to stay in an observation area for 15 minutes, where people can help them if they feel any strange side effects directly after being given the vaccine. Afterwards, the vaccine recipient is allowed to head home. They then repeat these steps for their second dose around three weeks later.

The duration of this process varies depending on how many people scheduled appointments on a given day, and can last up to 90 minutes. Besides that, the entire process is convenient and simple, and teams of experts are always there to help if anyone needs it.

“I think the hardest part was trying to book an appointment for my vaccination,” junior Tess Hansen said. “The whole process took less than five minutes so it was definitely quick, easy, and convenient.”

Because of the convenience and simplicity teens face when it comes to getting the Covid-19 vaccine, there’s been an increase in the amount of people receiving the vaccine. At the moment, the number of vaccinated people in Oregon has increased by 6.4 percent since April 19, when teens were first made eligible for it.

Unfortunately, while vaccination rates have gone up, Covid-19 case numbers in Oregon have also been going up, with nearly 500 to 1,000 new cases occurring daily. Oregon has also recently surpassed 2,500 deaths due to Covid-19. This has led to some concern that not everyone will want to get the vaccine.

“My hope is that enough people will get the vaccine to make up for the anti-vaxxers, but you never really know,” junior Jolene Crane said. “Thankfully all of my friends are super excited about the vaccine and eager to get it, so I just feel lucky to be a part of such a positive environment and friend group.”

This most recent group was the final group on the initial distribution schedule to be eligible for the vaccine. However, the FDA has recently approved the vaccine for kids aged 12 through 15, so we haven’t reached the end of this distribution plan yet.

We haven’t conquered Covid-19 just yet. Cases are starting to rise again, and there’s still almost 70 percent of the state that has yet to get vaccinated. However, as long as the number of vaccinated Oregonians is still rising, there may be a little light at the end of this long, dark tunnel that everyone has been stuck in since March of last year.

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