The Requirements and who gets Vaccinated First for Covid-19


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Covid-19 vaccine illustration. Credits to Isparmo on Getty Images.

Megan Robinson

Scientists have been working hard around the clock for a Covid 19 vaccine so millions of people can return to normal. With schools, jobs, and the world on pause, everyone is holding their breath in hopes for the cure to appear. With one in the works and now in testing, a new question arrises as to who can be eligible to take the vaccine.

California has eased restrictions on who qualifies for vaccinations to help speed the rate at which health departments can administer the Pfizer-BioNTech (16+) and Moderna (18+) vaccines. The CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) stated, “The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as large enough quantities of vaccine are available. As vaccine supply increases but remains limited, ACIP will expand the groups recommended for vaccination.”

The FDA has issued an emergency use authorization for both vaccines. However, younger people ages 16-35 currently are NOT the focus for receiving it. New guidelines allow for vaccines to be offered to those first with risky jobs, such as childcare providers, teachers, medical and emergency service workers, the elderly (75+), and agriculture suppliers.

Why are the vaccines currently only 16+? This is because a child’s and an adult’s immune systems are completely different. A child’s immune responses also vary at different ages, from infancy to the teenage years. In order to give children a safe vaccine, the research that’s been conducted on the COVID-19 vaccine for ages 16 and up must be done again on younger children to maintain their health.