COVID-19 vaccines smoothly roll out for ages 16 and older

May 18, 2021

The+U.S.+Food+and+Drug+Administration+%28FDA%29+issued+the+first+emergency+authorization+%28EUA%29+for+the+Pfizer-BioNTech+vaccine+for+the+prevention+of+COVID-19+in+individuals+who+are+16+years+of+age+or+older.+

Graphic by Evelyn Shue

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the first emergency authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals who are 16 years of age or older.

On Dec. 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the first emergency authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals who are 16 years of age or older. The following day, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for ages 16 and up with 11 in favor, zero against and three recusing due to prior conflicts. 

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only vaccine that has been approved for individuals 16 and older. During clinical trials, the vaccine was 95 percent effective at preventing illness and showed no short-term safety issues. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has also proved to have less side effects in teens than in much older people. The majority of teens mainly experienced soreness in their arms in the area that they received the vaccine, headaches, and in some cases, fatigue. In many older people, the side effects were still the same, however, many tended to have muscle and joint pain with chills as well. 

Similarly with many older adults, side effects in teens tend to be worse after the second dose. Many teens have experienced the same side effects, however, with a much stronger reaction, and in some cases, with a fever. 

“Honestly, I always knew I was going to get the vaccine once it was available,” senior Bianca Romano said. “I was a bit hesitant when it first got approved, but once it was being administered and there wasn’t really anything serious happening to people who got it, I became a lot less hesitant.” 

Romano also explained how easy the vaccination process was for her and her family. 

“I got vaccinated through the state mass vaccination program and had a really good experience with it. The appointment was really fast and easy. We walked in and within ten or so minutes I had the shot in my arm, and was just waiting for the 15 minutes to be up so I could go home,” Romano said. 

Romano also expressed how her experience with side effects was very minimal. “Luckily, I didn’t have any side effects besides a sore arm after both shots, so that made the experience a 100 percent better. I really didn’t want to get a fever,” Romano said.

 

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