Access to Vaccinations Widens

Mera Seifu, CavCulture Editor

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that children who are 12 to 15 years old are now eligible to take the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month. Previously, only those who were 16 and older were eligible. According to National Public Radio (NPR), the acting FDA commissioner claimed that their reason for doing this was to bring back a sense of normalcy faster.

Teen receives the COVID-19 vaccine.                           Photo courtesy of Medscape.

According to NPR, the three authorized vaccine makers in the US (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson) have been doing studies as well as trials on younger children for the past few months to ensure their safety before lowering the age bar. Now younger students can come in to take the vaccine from these providers, including J&J, who the CDC has recently recommended people to use for vaccination after its “temporary pause.”

“I believe that as more real world data comes in, and the efficiency of the vaccine is further proven, the [age] bar will continue to widen and more people will become vaccinated,” says Vinny Habashi, Senior.

So far there hasn’t been any news from FCPS stating that taking the vaccine will be required for the upcoming (2021-22) school year. However, masks and social distancing will be mandatory and some students anticipate that vaccination will soon be as well.

Woodson student receives COVID-19 vaccine in FCPS school COVID vaccine clinic.                                                                Photo courtesy of abc7News.

“I think the vaccine will be required for high school students and middle schoolers who are in 7th and 8th grade,” says Ruth Abebe, Freshman.

Until further notice, FCPS will continue to provide vaccine clinic events and promote safe practices. 

Last week, it was announced that FCPS had partnered with the Fairfax County Health Department to provide vaccination for students 12 and up. After receiving a “tremendous response” from the community, FCPS has decided to provide additional vaccination opportunities that will take place from June 1-10. Students can receive the vaccine at a local high school during the school day, between 9:30am and 1:30pm.

Although taking the vaccine does not guarantee complete immunity from COVID, FCPS along with many other counties are continuing to encourage their students to take the vaccine and stay safe.