When Will Teens Get the Vaccine?

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Anya Rothman, Staff Reporter

As more Covid-19 vaccines are becoming available, if you are 16 or older, you may be eligible to be vaccinated now or soon.

Currently, Virginia is in Phase 1b, which means that healthcare workers, frontline workers, people over 65, people in homeless shelters or jail, and people above 16 with certain medical conditions can get vaccinated. For an easy check to see if you are eligible, fill out this survey from the Virginia Department of Health.

Although most high school students are not currently eligible to receive vaccinations, they could become available to the general public above 16 as soon as April, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, in a TODAY interview.

As for people under 16, a Pfizer vaccine for people 12 to 15 has recently been approved, and is 100% effective, which is a statistic that has been previously unheard of. The vaccine should be available for people to receive before the start of the next school year, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Currently, there are three types of vaccines. The two most widely available are from Pfizer and Moderna. They are both administered in two doses, spaced about a month apart. There is a new vaccine that has been recently approved from Johnson & Johnson, which only requires one dose, and is currently being distributed across the county.

Once someone has received their vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends that they continue to wear a mask and social distance.

While it may seem as though there is not much point in getting vaccinated if it will not change recommended procedures, officials disagree.

“I think its important for everyone who can get vaccinated to get vaccinated,” Chief of Infection Control for Covid-19 for Albemarle County Leanne Knox said. “The way we’re going to get the pandemic under control is by reaching a level of herd immunity.”

Herd immunity occurs when a large amount of a population becomes immune or resistant to a disease. According to Knox, this will be when around 70-80% of the community is vaccinated.

“The more of us who get the vaccine, the healthier the overall population is going to be able to stay,” Knox said. 

As more developments arise, keep on the lookout for updates from the VDH and CDC.

Updated on April 1, 2021.