More Kids Get Covid Vaccines!

More Kids Get Covid Vaccines!

Sophia Casaletto, Staff Writer

COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed, and they are now available to students as young as twelve. In fact, most colleges say that they will require students to have the COVID-19 vaccine for the fall.

First of all, when the vaccine is injected, a strip of genetic material called mRNA enters a cell. The cell then builds copies of spike proteins, which protrude from coronavirus particles. After that, the body’s immune system identifies these spike proteins and produces antibodies. These antibodies prevent those spikes from entering cells in the future. Pfizer’s vaccine has been authorized for people ages 12 and up, while Moderna and Johnson are authorized for people of ages 16 and up.

Kids will have side effects generally similar to adults. The side effects for a small percentage of those vaccinated include temporary fever, chills, and fatigue that lasts a day or so. Some might ask, because younger kids have stronger immune systems, do they really need a vaccine? Medical experts say yes. While kids are not as affected, they still are, and many kids have died from this disease. And even if the effects of COVID-19 are minimal, they can still spread the disease to other people who might be more susceptible to contracting the virus.

In fact, 3.34 million children have contracted the virus in the United States. The vaccine works just as well on children too. Pfizer conducted a study to find out the effectiveness of the vaccines on kids. This study included 2,260 kids ranging from the ages 12 to 15. None of the kids who were vaccinated contracted COVID, and 18 kids who received the placebo contracted the disease. In fact, Dr. Allison Arwady said that they were seeing very good levels of protection when it came to antibodies in the blood – even better than young adults.

“It doesn’t hurt that bad,” my friend Maya, who was recently vaccinated, says. “I’m feeling fine!” I asked her to describe how the shot itself felt. “It didn’t feel like much, it just felt like a tiny little prick with a bit of pressure. It felt like there was a needle in me, and then they took it out,” she noted. While the prick itself doesn’t hurt, it can make your arm very sore. “The day you get it, at least for me, it didn’t get sore at all. But the day after? Oh my God. My arm was so sore,” Maya said. She didn’t experience any side effects from her first shot.

When I recently had my first shot, the shot itself didn’t hurt. My arm was very sore, like Maya’s, and I also didn’t get any side effects. It’s very exciting that the COVID vaccine was developed, and even more so that kids ages 12 plus can now be vaccinated as well!