NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Del. - In Delaware, Tuesday coronavirus vaccine eligibility opened for those 16 and older.
"I know a lot of kids who want to go back to school. I know a lot of teachers that want to go back to school and be safe and be with their kids, because the last year has not been easy for any of them," one resident teen said.
After more than a year of closed businesses and schools and limited access to vaccines, Delaware has now joined a handful of states that have expanded vaccine access to residents as young as 16.
"I think it’s essential 16-year-olds are the common denominator to most people in society. They are in school sports, practices, ballet, music lessons. They interface with grandparents, teachers, other students," Doctor Ashok Subramanian stated.
Dr. Subramanian is the medical director for one of the state partners in vaccine distribution. He’s happy with the vaccine progress. Nearly 450,000 Delawareans have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, or more than 30 percent of the state population. But, the doctor also knows the progress creates questions among people who wonder why only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for people that young.
"I feel very confident that the Pfizer vaccine is safe for 16-year-olds and I think they’re looking at data to drop that age limit even further, which personally I feel is still appropriate," Dr. Subramanian explained.
He believes that the delay in approval of other vaccines for young people is just a function of a strict process and thinks more vaccines for teens will see approval soon.
"In terms of risk, I personally have not seen any adverse reactions in adults and I don’t expect to see them in kids, but we haven’t vaccinated any kids, yet, so I don’t know," Dr. Subramanian commented.
And, most of the people FOX 29 spoke with agree. They are happy and not concerned about vaccines getting to teenagers.
Delaware still requires residents have an appointment and 16-year-olds can only get the Pfizer vaccine. Residents should check the state website for locations.
"I think it improves exponentially, week to week. It’s a large task to begin with and I think people are coming together and making it happen," Dr. Subramanian added.
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