Coronavirus News

Ages 16+ Covid Vaccine Eligibility

By: Ada Muqqadus — Correspondent

Clinical trials have shown that teens as young as 16 years old are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine and they must require two shots. 

According to the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert McGregor, it is important to determine the accurate brand of the vaccine based on the teen’s age. “Pfizer is OK for 16 and older, but for Moderna, they have to be 18 and older, so a 16-year-old, or someone about to be 16, can’t get it yet,” McGregor said. “And they will require two shots.” 

Any parent or guardian must be present while their child(s) is vaccinated and make sure the vaccine they take is adhering to the age guidelines. The vaccine that is scheduled has to be age-appropriate meaning the vaccine should not be given to any teenager unless it meets the age criteria.

One question many parents would have in mind is if their child could possibly get symptoms when taking the vaccine and the answer is yes, based on how many patients who are 16 that have already been vaccinated, some notice soreness, red marks, or pain in the arm. Dr. McGregor says, “True. Many patients notice soreness, redness, or pain in the arm where they got the shot. Others may experience fatigue, a mild fever, headache, or body aches for a day afterward. Side effects are more common after the second dose.” 

Dr. Kimi Kobayashi, the chief quality officer at UMass Memorial, said it is important for everyone to wait the full two weeks after the second shot for the body to fully build up immunity. However, he also adds that everyone needs to continue taking precautions until more of the population is vaccinated because the pandemic is not over yet.

“We’re in a complicated stage where some are vaccinated and some aren’t,” Kobayashi said. “It is really important to remember – even as vaccines become available – it doesn’t mean everyone is vaccinated. We still have to wait for a large number of the population to be vaccinated.” 

Kobayashi says experts still don’t know if someone who is vaccinated can or cannot transmit the virus.” People believe we are entering the Golden Age, but they are jumping to conclusions so quickly. We must be careful because the pandemic has not come to an end.”

According to the CDC, especially the disabled should take the vaccine ahead of time. Because of their disabilities, they are more prone to getting and spreading COVID-19. CDC says, “Many people with disabilities have diabetes, cancer, heart disease or obesity. These conditions may put you at higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19.” 

One example is Down Syndrome. CDC adds, “Down Syndrome is one condition that may put you at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.”

A disability alone may not put one at higher risk for COVID-19. One can be at higher risk because of where they live, such as a long-term care facility. That could keep you at risk and potentially getting COVID because you have close contact with your care providers. This can be difficult for especially the disabled because it is harder for them to follow the safety protocols. CDC says,” The disabled may be at risk because they have difficulty wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from other people, or even washing their hands.”

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