Coronavirus Vaccine Age Lowering


Blake Herbert

Covid vaccine available for 16 and up

Sophia Dewael, MVCurrent Writer

Since the start of the Coronavirus, scientists have been rushing to develop a vaccine. In Indiana, the first people to have the opportunity to receive vaccines were healthcare workers and first responders. They were eligible on December 14, 2020. This soon expanded to those over the age of 80 on January 8, 2021. From then the eligibility began to continuously lower, and on March 15, 2021 the vaccine was opened to all teachers in Indiana. Lastly, on March 31, 2021 vaccines became open to all people age 16 and older. 


This is tricky for those 16 and 17 because on March 31, 2021 the Pfizer vaccine research that showed that it was approved for those 16 and older came out, but the rest of the approved vaccines are only officially approved for those 18 and older. Eligible teens who want to get vaccinated need to keep this in mind as some clinics only have one brand of vaccine in stock. 


For those who are eligible and wish to get the vaccine and do not know where to start, the link will lead them directly to the sign-up website. Then, there are a few simple questions which ask for birthdate, zip code, and if the person has been vaccinated with the first dose. After that, it will lead them to a page which has different locations near the entered zip code with varying availability of appointments. On this page, the vaccine types that each place has available will clearly be stated. Then just a few more clicks, and the process is over.


The Pfizer vaccine is a two dose vaccine and also a newer kind of vaccine called the mRNA vaccine. The mRNA vaccine is a newly ready vaccine, but that does not mean that it is not safe. In fact, this type of vaccine has been researched for decades.


“COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the ‘spike protein,’” the explained, “The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.” 


The vaccine does not cause people who receive it to transmit COVID-19 though, like all of the other vaccines that we receive in life. The vaccine then goes on to form antibodies and build a protection against the virus so that it is much harder to contract. 


The Moderna vaccine has an efficacy rate of 94.1% and the Pfizer vaccine has an efficacy rate of 95.0%. There is a third vaccine that is approved in the United states also, but the Johnson and Johnson vaccine only has a efficacy rate of 72%. It may not be as protective as the other vaccines, but it significantly helps reduce the spread of the Coronavirus and also has a much higher efficacy rate for hospitalization. Experts say the sooner more people get vaccinated, the sooner life can resemble life pre-pandemic.