Editorial: Students, Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine

The Editorial Board strongly encourages all members of the School community who are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they can.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is now available to people ages 16-17 in the U.S. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Yesterday, Massachusetts opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to anyone ages 16 and older.

This means that all students in 11th and 12th grade and many in 10th grade at the School are now able to schedule appointments for their first dose of the vaccine.

As many faculty and staff members at the School complete their immunization schedules, students are next in line for the community to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Editorial Board strongly encourages all members of the School community who are eligible to get vaccinated as soon as they can. COVID-19 vaccines have proven effective in preventing serious illness due to the virus, and public health officials emphasize that they are key to putting an end to the pandemic.

For our community, the vaccine may help us return to a more normal learning environment at school.

Our daily routines have been dramatically altered to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and with the end of the pandemic on the horizon, we are approaching a new normal where we may be able to see each other without masks or social distancing again. However, this will only come if we do our part in continuing to practice COVID-19 mitigation strategies and get vaccinated when we are able to.

We recognize that some people may choose not to get a COVID-19 vaccine for religious or medical reasons. We also acknowledge that many have questions about the safety and efficacy of the approved COVID-19 vaccines, and we aim to use our platform to spread information, helping our readers to make the most informed decisions.

To promote vaccine education, The Gator began producing a podcast series this month, featuring community members, and focusing on the role of vaccines in fighting the pandemic, vaccine development, equity with vaccine distribution, and other topics relating to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Here is how to get your vaccine, courtesy of Director of Health Services Beth Escobar.

If you’re 16 or older, you’re now eligible to receive a COVID vaccine! It’s as easy as going to vaccinesignup.mass.gov to pre-register at mass vaccination sites throughout Massachusetts. You can dial 2-1-1 if you have trouble with the online reservation process. There are two different vaccines available—Pfizer and Moderna. Pfizer is the only one approved for individuals ages 16 and 17. Moderna is for individuals 18 and older. Both vaccines require two doses. Pfizer is administered three weeks after the initial dose and Moderna is administered four weeks after the initial dose. Please come to see me with any questions or concerns about the vaccine. We can do this!