Second Dose Summer

Students Begin to Get Their COVID-19 Vaccines As Eligibility Expands to 13+

Lucia Ruiz, Features Editor

As the world slowly opens up again, vaccines are being distributed rapidly. Vaccinations are essential to regain normalcy and to lower death counts. With the arrival of variants of the COVID-19 virus, vaccines are even more in demand. 

“We just do not know if the variants will come here and what their impact will be,” PVHS nurse Marissa Trevett said. “We know that there are some variants already in the United States, but that’s why there’s such a rush to try to get as many people vaccinated as possible. If you got in contact with a variant and you were vaccinated, [COVID-19] will probably not [have the same impact] on you if you had no vaccine at all.”

For many teachers and students, getting the vaccine before starting in-person schooling or sports seasons was a top priority. As of May 13, Californians aged 13 and up are able to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“The process of getting the vaccine was really seamless except for setting up an appointment,” junior Jack Donell said. “I was in and out of the vaccine center in less than 25 minutes for each dose which was really nice.”

On May 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer vaccine distribution to those aged 12 to 15. They will need a parent or guardian over 18 years of age to accompany them. 

However, even if students under 16 receive the vaccine, they may not want to go back to school in August this year. 

“[The school district] recently surveyed parents about their kids wanting to stay home next year and do distance learning,” Trevett said. “There seems to be a lot of interest in that. Maybe there [won’t] be the typical 100 percent crowd back at school next fall. Maybe some will choose to stay home.”

While the vaccine is safe and effective, it does not ensure complete protection.

“Even if you’re vaccinated, you can still get COVID-19,” Trevett said. “It’s very unlikely and if you were to get it, you would have mild symptoms, not severe illness, hospitalization or death. We can’t require it, but we would encourage [people to get] the vaccine.”

Even so, becoming vaccinated comes with many perks. Not only is a vaccinated person far less likely to become hospitalized than someone without the vaccine, but vaccinated people are also not required to wear a mask or physically distance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The vaccine brings hope that the world is returning to normalcy. As of Tuesday, May 11, there have been a total of zero COVID-19 patients in Torrance Memorial Medical Center.