Good news, Blazers! After over a year in quarantine, most of us are finally eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. If you're a little confused about what you need to do now refer to this quick guide...
As of Apr. 6, Marylanders 16 and older are eligible for vaccination at mass vaccination sites. This Monday, Apr. 12, us 16+ year olds are eligible for vaccination at any location offering vaccines, including local pharmacies, hospitals, health centers, and other providers.
While most high schoolers are eligible for vaccinations, providers prioritize front line medical staff, essential workers, and anyone else at greater risk for exposure. Many local vaccination providers in particular will not accept individuals who don't fall into a higher-risk category. Even so, make sure to pre-register for a vaccination at a mass site here and at other organizations here to secure an appointment in the future!
What vaccines can I get?
There are currently three vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration: the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen** vaccine. Students 18 years and older are eligible to receive any of the vaccines, while 16-17 year olds are limited to Pfizer. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are only approved for adults because testing took place on 18 year olds and older before the FDA approved it for emergency use authorization.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations are given in two doses, with Pfizer's vaccines scheduled around three weeks apart and Moderna's vaccines at around 4 weeks. According to Healthline, the first dose "helps to prime your immune system." The shot introduces the virus into the body to generate a smaller scale immune response. Time is needed to allow this process.
**currently on hold by the CDC. Read more here.
I got an appointment! What should I expect?
Awesome! Make sure to bring your ID, have a digital or print copy of your appointment confirmation ready for scanning, and wear your mask at all times! When you arrive at the mass distribution site, all you need to do is follow the lines of people going in and out of the site.
You'll probably have to sit down and wait 15-30 minutes after you get vaccinated before you're allowed to leave the site. This is just to make sure you don't need immediate medical attention from reacting poorly to the vaccine.
Okay, I got vaccinated. What now?
If you received your first Pfizer or Moderna shot, you should have received a vaccination card at the distribution site. Keep your slip safe to bring back to the vaccination site for your second dose, or you'll be denied your appointment.
You may experience some side effects like fatigue, muscle aches, and fever after receiving the vaccine, which is a normal part of building immunity. These side effects are usually more severe after the second shot, but make sure to contact a health care provider if symptoms worsen or continue one to two days after your vaccination.
And that's all there is to it! Congratulations for making it through an entire school year in a virtual environment. With more and more students getting vaccinated, it seems like in-person learning and hanging out with friends is in the near future.
KEEP YOUR VACCINATION CARD
When you get your first dose, you will get a vaccination card to show you when to
return for your second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Remember to bring
your card when you return.
Yuri Kim. Hey, I'm Yuri and I'm a senior :) When I'm not on SCO, I'm listening to music, overusing emojis, and/or working on another strange arts-and-crafts project. More »