Vaccination Authorized for Teens

     In May 2021, after over a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pfizer vaccine was approved for teenagers ages 12-15, just in time for the incoming summer. When Fenwick students were given an opportunity of their own at their own school, many took it and in late may, a portion of the Fenwick community had their first dose.        

     Fenwick vaccination rates range from 65-67% as of September 2021. However, with the new Delta variant of the Coronavirus spreading like wildfire in states like Tennessee, Alabama and Texas, many people raised concerns on whether or not their vaccine shots protected them from this new, deadly and highly spreadable variant. Unfortunately, for some vaccinated people, they found themselves with a positive test result and lost hope in the vaccine. 

     With the return of normal activities such as football games and club meetings, the risk of spreading the virus increases. However, many who are vaccinated still feel safe. When three Fenwick students were asked “Did you get the vaccine? Were you confident in it working when you first got it?” Erick Smith (Class of 24) said, “Yes I did get the vaccine, two days after it was approved. I soon got my second dose and was good two weeks later. I was confident when I first got it.” Ireland Reynoso (Class of 24) had more to say about why she was confident, saying, “Yes I got the vaccine. I was confident in it working because scientists worked on it and made sure it was safe and effective. I saw many other people receiving the doses and nothing happened to them, so I decided to get it.” 

     Confidence among students was high when the vaccine was first made available to them, and that led to my next question, “Do the majority of people you see have the vaccine? If so, do you feel more safe around them?” For those who were comfortable with answering the question, the answers were long and thoughtful, such as my answer from Noah Patterson (Class of 24), who said, “The majority, if not all of my friends and family I see are vaccinated. I feel safe around them, and they feel the same way back. It’s a sense of joy to be able to see everyone’s smiles again, laughing and expressions not covered by a mask.” When Taylor Woods (Class of 24) was asked ”Do you believe that the vaccine is the only key to getting us back to a completely pre-COVID style of life? Or is more necessary?”, she replied with, “I believe that the vaccine is the beginning to getting us back to pre-COVID life, not the key. In my opinion, more is needed.” She and others feel this way as well, and it also makes us reflect on what exactly we need to get back to a pre-COVID style of life. While we’re not at the beginning anymore, we find ourselves getting stuck at times. We’re getting back to normal life for sure, but we’re still in times of uncertainty and we need to realize that completely for us to be back to normalcy.