People ages 16 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including CVHS students like Amy McGowan.
“The process was super easy and accessible, and my side effects were limited to a sore arm,” said the senior. “Teens should definitely get the vaccine!”
It is much safer for teachers and students to return to school especially since the COVID-19 vaccine is available for teenagers ages 16 and up in California as of April 15.
Although many people have access to the vaccines, not many want to take it even if it is ultimately beneficial for them.
“People have strong opinions about the vaccine,” said school nurse Sandee Velasquez. “What I do know is that for certain populations of people, in the risk/benefit ratio of receiving the vaccine, the benefit far outweighs the risk.”
There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines authorized by FDA: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J). It is normal for people to have side effects after getting their vaccines.
Both mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, require two doses to fully protect against infection and serious illness caused by the virus.
Currently, only Pfizer is approved for teens that are ages 16 and older but Moderna is fine for people ages 18 and older. Soon ages 12 and older can get the Pfizer vaccine too.
J&J only requires one dose but due to six recent deaths caused by blood clots from people who took it, FDA/CDC recommended putting it on pause until further notice. This is also for people ages 16 and up.
People typically have to wait three weeks after their first dose to get the second if they took Pfizer, and one month for Moderna.
Some students have already received their first dose and are waiting for their second while others have gotten both doses already.
Vaccinated people are still required to wear their masks and to social distance, but they are allowed to do more “normal” activities.
“The sooner we reach community immunity, the sooner we can achieve some level of normalcy for all of us. Which is what I think we all want!” said Velasquez.
To get vaccinated, schedule an appointment with your health care providers, pharmacies, or California’s statewide vaccination website (myturn.ca.gov).