Teens excited to get COVID vaccine

Updated: Apr. 6, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Who would’ve thought the latest trend among teens and young adults would be getting vaccinated?

In New York, those age 16 and older became eligible Tuesday morning. We spoke with teens who say they’re excited about it.

“I’m hoping if more people get the vaccine, it’ll be somewhat normal, we’ll get back to opening up stuff more and be able to be out and about with big groups more,” said Mandalynn Atnip, age 18.

Jonathan Smith is 16 and has already had his first shot because he’s a beneficiary of a military member.

“People like me are as healthy as they’ll ever be, and I think you should keep it that way. I think that if you’re healthy and you can do something to protect your family or your friends’ family, you should take those steps,” he said.

Younger people say they think they’re generally more willing to get the shot than older generations, and they’re less likely to need help navigating the online registration.

But will opening the pool of eligibility by a whopping 14 years make for a backlog at clinics?

Health officials say no.

“We don’t think that will put any more pressure on us because we still only get so many vaccines, so we still only have so many appointments available each week, so that won’t change until we have an increase in our dosage allotment,” said Jefferson County Public Health Planner Faith Lustik.

She suspects that will happen soon. But even if it doesn’t, there are still hundreds of appointments available in Jefferson County.

At the Jefferson Community College vaccination site, there are two clinics set for this week - Wednesday and Thursday - open to all eligible populations.

However, the doses available are Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, so 16 and 17 year olds will have to wait for Pfizer.

“The only approved vaccine for them is Pfizer. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are 18 and above,” said Lustik.

Aside from that small hurdle, health officials say there’s no need to wait to get your vaccine.

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