New Age Groups are now Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Alivia Randall

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday, April 1st that all Virginians, age 16 and older, are eligible to receive the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) vaccine beginning on April 18th. However, health experts in Virginia are starting to believe children as young as 12 may be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by fall 2021.

On Friday, April 9, Pfizer asked to expand the use of its COVID-19 vaccine to minors ages 12 to 15. Pfizer says their COVID-19 vaccine is safe and is very effective in kids as young as 12. Pfizer released a trial on March 31st which showed the effectiveness of the vaccine. The effectiveness on the record showed 100% efficacy against COVID-19 in 2,000 minors between the ages of 12 and 15.

Health experts say children tend to have stronger immune systems than adults. This means that children are likely to respond better to the COVID-19 vaccine than adults. However, in order for children as young as 12 to be vaccinated, Dr. Michael Martin, President of the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, believes that more studies will have to continue before kids as young as 12 receive the vaccine.

A Nashville, Tennessee pediatric infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center named Dr. Buddy Creech has also stated that “Vaccinating our teenagers is the next step in seeing our way through the pandemic.”

Based on the federal government’s projected vaccine supply, soon all local health districts in Virginia will have enough vaccines to open appointments to the general public by April 18.

As of now, vaccines are available for ages 16 and older. Vaccinating children of all ages will eventually be very effective to stop the pandemic which, hopefully, will mean that we can get back to doing the things we love.