Do High School Students Want to Get the Vaccine?
When the time comes to get your COVID-19 vaccination, will you? Most high school students will be eligible for a vaccine by the end of 2021.
Your eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine is dependent on which group you fall under. For more information about your vaccination eligibility, click here for a recent article that discusses this topic.
Many high school students will run into a problem when they attempt to get vaccinated because so far, only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well as the Moderna vaccine can currently only be administered to adults 18 and older. Freshmen in high school can be as young as fourteen-years-old, but there is yet to be a vaccine approved for anyone under the age of sixteen.
Moderna is currently testing its vaccine on children ages twelve-sixteen with the hope to administer vaccines for those children in the fall of 2021. If it is determined that the Moderna branded vaccine is unsafe for children, it could be months still until a dose safe for children becomes available. Children under the age of eleven can eventually be vaccinated as well; however, that process is not expected to begin until 2022.
So, following the prediction that vaccines will soon be made available to all high schoolers, the question becomes: will you get one? Here are some things to consider.
According to Johns Hopkins, all three approved vaccines underwent extensive testing to ensure that those who get vaccinated will remain safe. The FDA, Federal Drug Association, has approved all three currently available vaccines for emergency use authorization, as they have passed the necessary guidelines. Vaccines are also monitored after distribution and watched closely for side effects by the FDA and CDC, the Center for Disease Control.
Getting vaccinated will also help the United States reach herd immunity. It’s estimated that 70-90% of the population will need to be vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity. Herd immunity is a means of protecting those who do not have immunity themselves. If four out of five people have immunity, the fifth person has a smaller chance of contracting COVID-19 as well as spreading it. Many believe this is a crucial step to overcoming the coronavirus pandemic.
If you’re worried about the financial aspect of the vaccine, have no fear. Anyone who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, whether it be Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson’s, can get their shot free of charge. There is a common misconception that the vaccines carry a strand of the coronavirus, which is how immunity is built. This leads people to believe they can contract COVID-19 from getting vaccinated. Contracting coronavirus can lead to exuberant medical bills. Therefore, if families believe they could contract COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, there may be some who don’t get vaccinated at all. Luckily, there is not a strain of COVID-19 in the available vaccines, so the threat of medical bills should not stop anyone who’s interested from getting vaccinated.
Vaccines are negatively associated with side effects and the same is true for the three available coronavirus vaccines. Many people have no effects other than a sore arm after the first dose. The second dose, though, is another story. It’s not unheard of to hear stories of people with no side effects at all, but a lot of people experience COVID-19 symptoms for 24-48 hours after being fully vaccinated.
At the end of the day, whether high school students decide to get vaccinated or not is a decision they must make for themselves by weighing the pros and cons. Attached to this article is a poll regarding your thoughts about getting vaccinated. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the matter through the poll and in the comments of this article.