Individuals 16 years of age are now eligible for vaccination


John Kuntz,

MetroHealth received a shipment this morning from Pfizer containing 975 doses of their COVID-19 vaccine, December 15, 2020, in Cleveland. Vaccinations will proceed tomorrow for MetroHealthÕs front line coronavirus health workers.

Sofia Osio, Section editor

On March 26, the Florida Department of Health announced that 16 and 17 year olds would be able to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This came after a previous statement from Gov. Ron DeSantis who said that all adults 18 and over would be eligible for vaccination. This new change would go into effect on Monday, April 5.

This announcement was good news for 16 and 17 year olds across the state, who were previously only eligible to get vaccinated if they had a preexisting medical condition that put them at risk of contracting COVID-19.

“I would like to get the vaccine in order to return to a somewhat normal life,” junior Maria Samour said. “I think the [new] age limit is good; the more people who get vaccinated, the better.”

DeSantis announced on March 25 that the vaccine eligibility age would be dropped from 40 to 18, officially allowing all legal adults to be vaccinated for the first time, regardless of a preexisting condition. After public confusion, the DOH stepped in to issue a correction, stating that the new guidelines would also be applied to 16 and 17 year olds with the Pfizer vaccine.

“I think it’s good that 16 and 17 year olds can get vaccinated now because they are already going out with friends and will have to go back to school soon,” junior Ilana Badiner said.

As of now, the Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine approved for 16 and 17 year olds by the Food and Drug Administration. Both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are only authorized for use in people 18 years of age and over. There are currently no vaccines officially available for people under the age of 16.