Accessible for all: Younger adolescents can receive the vaccine, and PV announces vaccine clinic

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Claire Horsfield

Junior Claire Horsfield receives the Pfizer vaccine at the Genesis clinic.

Muskan Basnet, Copy Editor

After almost a year of COVID-19, the development of the vaccine has been a relief to many. Initially the spread of the vaccine was limited, only reaching medical personnel and the elderly. Now the vaccine is much more accessible. On May 10, the FDA approved of the Pfizer vaccine to be administered to children ages 12-15. 

Previously, the Pfizer vaccine was only available to people ages 16 and up. The Pfizer adolescent trial consisted of 2,260 adolescents; the results showed 100 percent efficacy. This is a major advancement for the state of COVID-19 cases in the United States. 

Pfizer administered a placebo to 1,129 adolescents and the vaccine to 1,131 adolescents, with neither group knowing which they received. The COVID-19 exposure was similar for both groups due to the trial about double blinded. 

Forbes reported that 18 cases of COVID-19 were reported from this trial, but all cases were from the placebo group. The side effects of the vaccine were also the same for this younger group of adolescents as they were for people ages 16-25: arm soreness, fatigue, fever and body aches. 

Though many are reluctant to administer the vaccine to younger adolescents, the CDC recommends that they receive the vaccine. Because younger people are efficient at spreading COVID-19, the adolescents are a rising part of the new cases in the U.S.. As summer approaches, the CDC urges families to receive the vaccine in order to take part in their summer plans this year. 

Junior Rithvik Vanga agrees that younger people should be encouraged to get vaccinated. “I think that if the vaccine is available for as many people as possible, we can go back to normal at a faster rate. I think that it is great that different age groups such as 12-15 year olds now have access to the vaccine,” he expressed.

This advancement is nationwide, but even locally the vaccine is becoming more accessible. Pleasant Valley announced on May 10 their vaccination clinic is open for students 16 years old and older. The clinic is in partnership with HyVee and took place on May 14 from 8:00 A.M. to noon in the ABC Gym. 

Senior Louie Conn was one of the students who went to PV’s clinic and initially was not sure about receiving the vaccine. “My mom suggested that the high school was offering a clinic that provided the COVID-19 vaccine. She said this way it would be very convenient for me,” he explained.

“I was apprehensive in the beginning, but the nurse’s reassuring words helped me to relax. I am very thankful I took the opportunity to utilize the school’s clinic, and I highly recommend it to others,” Conn continued. 

Parents were to sign up students online and make an appointment for both the first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine. PV encouraged parents to sign students up during their PE or study hall periods. The second dose of the vaccine will be administered to students on June 4 from 8:00 A.M. to noon. 

Vanga was another student who took advantage of the school’s vaccination clinic. “I chose to take it at PV as it was on a school day and was of convenience to my schedule,” he said.

As the advancements in the vaccine allow for more accessibility, many are hopeful. Normalcy is something that many PV families crave, and the efforts being put forth to work toward it are inspiring.