Vaccination among the youth 

Students get vaccinated in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, amidst the controversy of the vaccination process. 

By Sofia Chianella 

Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Between Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer, these companies have given the world a push to start getting back to a sense of normalcy. With the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requiring you to be 18 years of age, 16 or older is the requirement for the Pfizer vaccine, giving students in high school the opportunity to protect themselves. Around campus, adolescents have taken the companies up on their offer. 

As an 18-year-old, Jillian Misemer (’21) was eligible to receive the Moderna vaccine, proven to be 92% effective by the World Health Organization. Despite the FDA approving this vaccine, people over the country still question the safety of this process. Misemer feels she has bigger issues to worry about, and decided to follow through with vaccination. 

“I got the vaccine because I want to protect myself from COVID-19 as much as humanly possible. I know people who have gotten the virus and feel awful for so long, and I want to avoid that if I can. I also got the vaccine to help get us closer to herd immunity, and subsequently get the U.S. closer to our new post-pandemic normal. I’m sure that there’s plenty of people who can’t get it because of allergies or immune disorders, so I want to do my part to protect them where I can,” Misemer said. 

Fears of contracting the virus is not the only reason why students want to receive the vaccine. The longing to see family all around the country has fed into the decision for Cate Miller (’22) in hopes that she can see them as soon as possible. 

“I got the vaccine so I could travel and see my family again that live up north. I wasn’t concerned about getting it. My mom and dad both got it, so I felt fine getting it. The only side effect I had was that I was really tired, but other than that I was fine. I was surprised I could get the vaccine so early but I’m so happy I could get it,” Miller said. 

Due to the controversy that swarms the vaccination process, many people have different opinions on whether or not they would get the shot that could protect them against the virus. Kole Kemple (’22) was set on his decision to get the vaccine to help COVID-19 cases decrease. 

“I would explain to them [those that will not receive the vaccine] they’re being very selfish, and that they should try to actually become informed on why getting the vaccine is so important,” Kemple said. 

As the nation remains divided on whether or not they will receive the vaccine, adolescents are taking a stand and making decisions for themselves, in the hope that their decision turns out to save lives.