The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, issued for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 11, 2020, is currently the only vaccine available for those between the ages of 16 and 18.
Recently, more teenagers are getting vaccinated; the state of Missouri expanded vaccine eligibility for all citizens on April 9. Additionally, the FDA is currently evaluating the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for potential distribution to children between the ages of 12 and 16.
As many teens look for ways to get vaccinated, RBHS students share their prior experiences.
Sariah Britton, sophomore
“I have gotten one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. So far, my experience with my first dose was pretty good, the only symptom I really had was a sore arm but other than that not really any symptoms.”
Kate Lopez, junior
“For the most part, I had a very good experience. I work at the Rock Bridge Hy-Vee, so I was able to get vaccinated before one of my shifts, and then they followed up with me exactly two weeks after to schedule my second vaccine appointment… After the second vaccine shot I experienced a lot of side effects, which partially may have been due to my age and the fact that I previously had [COVID-19]. So ultimately I ended up being sick for five days… But after a few days I felt back to normal.
“To anyone wondering if they should get the vaccine shot or not, I would highly recommend it because you’re doing your part for those who can’t get vaccinated, and to overall get society to where it could be instead of now with the pandemic.”
Turner DeArmond, senior
“I have received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. I mostly remember how efficient they were and how quick the entire process was. I got vaccinated at the Walsworth Club at Faurot Field, and they had someone directing you at every step of the way. As far as side effects, I had a headache and nausea, but it went away in a day or two — not totally debilitating.”
COVID-19 vaccines are available in the Columbia area at the Hy-Vee pharmacy by appointment, as well as at most grocery store pharmacies. The Columbia Health Department will offer the Pfizer vaccine at RBHS in the PAC lobby in May, detailed in an email from secretary Jennifer Sonnenberg. The first dose clinic will be held on May 5 and the second dose clinic on May 26. Students under 18 are required to have a signed consent form. Questions can be directed to nurse Tammy Adkins (email@example.com).
How was your COVID-19 vaccine experience? Let us know in the comments below.