Vaccinations Available for ages 12 and Up

By Maddie Galesi, Staff Writer

Since December of 2020, the COVID vaccine has been available to high-risk individuals of 16 years and older and healthcare workers. Starting post-December, vaccines have been made available for the general public, meaning anyone 16 and older can be vaccinated. 

“Our World in Data” has reported that 56.8 percent of Americans have been fully vaccinated. Out of the 402 million doses given, 187 million are fully vaccinated. In New Jersey, 65 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. AS these numbers improve, some schools and businesses are requiring the vaccine. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine EUA (emergency use authorization) for children ages 12-15. Research has shown that the Pfizer vaccine is 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 12 through 15. The FDA reviewed a study of more than 2,200 U.S. children ages 12 through 15. Of this group, half were given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the other children were given a placebo shot. Research showed no cases of COVID-19 in the 1,005 children given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Guardians can get their child vaccinated by contacting their local pharmacy’s website or pediatrician. 

With the new COVID Vaccine available for children 12 years and older, hopefully, more restrictions will be loosened by 2022. Dr. William Petri, vice chair for research in the UVA Department of Medicine, a chaired professor of infectious disease and international health and the head of a lab studying COVID-19 vaccines and treatments did a Q & A on this vaccine 

When asked about administering the vaccine to children, Petri said, “For the 5- to 11-year old children, it would seem efficient to vaccinate them in school, although with the logistical challenge this may not be possible, with vaccinations mostly at drug store pharmacies (as are the vaccinations for 12- to 17-year old children and boosters for adults right now).”

Senior Jules Jaffe says, “I’m happy to vaccinate because I feel protected and it makes life easier because I can just show my vaccination card instead of having to get tested. If I was twelve, I don’t know if I would be eager to get the vaccine.” Jaffe states that she doesn’t know if she would want to get something so new at an impressive age. 

Junior Brielle Wood said, “I’m not vaccinated and I don’t plan on being vaccinated. I especially would not get it at an age that young. I just feel like there’s no use getting it if you already have COVID.” 

Senior Sarah Park said,  The vaccine keeps people safe, I don’t see why someone wouldn’t get it. If I was 12, I would definitely still get it. It just makes life so much easier.” 

These differing opinions show the vaccination diversity in Wayne Hills and student views on this new vaccine. As more Americans get vaccinated, more restrictions get lifted, getting closer to our old life every day.