Teens approved to receive COVID vaccine

Addie Clayton, Reporter

In December of 2020, the two-dose Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 was introduced. The vaccine was originally authorized only for people who work in healthcare and people who are 65 years of age or older according to the CDC. However, Pfizer held clinical trials on 16 and 17-year-olds in the beginning of 2021.

The World Health Organization suggested Pfizer officials use this particular vaccine for teens who are susceptible to getting severely ill from the virus if they contract it, according to Science News. In Harvey and Sedgwick counties, teens 16 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. However, children who are needing the vaccine at the moment are needing to get it approved by the FDA, CDC and the government according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Moderna is another COVID-19 vaccine that has recently hit the market. Moderna is midway through a clinical trial for 12 to 17-year-olds which could possibly lead to Moderna vaccines available for teens in the coming months according to Science News. Clinical trials are research studies involving human participants trying new vaccines, treatments and diagnostic procedures. They help determine whether or not it is safe for more people to receive a particular treatment, vaccines or diagnostic procedures according to the National Institute of Health.

A survey of 76 students at NHS concluded that 57.9% of the student body would get the vaccine if given the chance. Junior Mackenzie Cusick, on the other hand, said if she was given the chance to receive the vaccine she would choose not to get it because she can not trust a vaccine made so fast. Similarly to Cusick, 42.1% of the student body said they would also choose to opt out of receiving the vaccine at the first given opportunity. 

 “I think [COVID-19 vaccines are] a good idea because even though they are young they can handle it and it will help COVID cases go down faster,” freshman Eddy Southern said “If I was old enough I would get the vaccine because I do not want COVID and plus it will help the world.”

Many students at NHS have already received their vaccine due to the location in which they work. Senior Abby Chappell Deckert, for example, qualified to receive the vaccine due to her job at Kidron Bethel Village. Teens are more likely to spread the virus due to hanging out with friends often, not wearing a mask while in public and other similar occurrences according to the New York Times. Teens are also more likely to receive and transmit COVID-19 than young children. In Kansas, as of Apr. 5, 1.46 million doses of the vaccine have been given and 560,000 people are fully vaccinated. Leaving 19.2% of the Kansas population vaccinated according to Our World in Data

  “It is a great way to protect our community and stop the spread,” Deckert said.