COVID-19 Vaccination Age Limit Drops to 16

by: Abby Dacombe

As of April 2021, anyone 16 years of age or older is now eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccination in Maryland. Most high school students are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, as Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have a higher age requirement. 

“I was incredibly happy that the age limit was lowered to 16. I feel more protected, and that way kids our generation can go out and not spread COVID, but instead help prevent it,” Mt. Hebron Junior Olivia Shanley stated in an interview. 

Students are excited to receive the vaccination, as it will serve as an extra layer of protection from the virus. Being vaccinated opens up more opportunities for high school students. They will be able to participate in school activities without fearing the spread of COVID-19. 

Maryland is offering vaccinations all across the state. Appointments are quick and easy to get. Drugstores are offering pre-registered appointments and mass vaccination sites like Six Flags are offering walk-in appointments. 

Another Mt. Hebron student, Claudia DiTomasso, stated that after her shot she experienced, “Lethargic, body aches and chills, headaches. It was more symptoms than I anticipated.” 

Side effects of the shot are to be expected. Most of them are similar to those of the flu shot. Many report experiencing a slightly sore arm and a fever. These symptoms indicate that the immune system is reacting properly to the vaccination.

Now that students are being vaccinated, changes in their lifestyles are going to occur. Even though the vaccination provides a layer of protection, masks are still required when in public. When in private and around others who have also been vaccinated, masks are not required, according to the CDC. 

“I’m still going to social distance and wear a mask, so I don’t really plan on changing much until the majority of people, especially kids at school, are vaccinated,” said Mt. Hebron junior Lilly French. Even though a majority of students are being vaccinated, the age limit does not cover about half of the high school population. 

The age limit drop of the COVID vaccination will increase the number of people getting vaccinated, moving Maryland forward in its steps to lift COVID restrictions.