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A Shot in the Arm

Zhoriél receives the COVID-19 vaccine.

The coronavirus pandemic, which began in March 2020, changed our lives in many ways. We had to wear masks and socially distance. Many schools switched to remote learning. I had to attend school virtually for my entire sixth grade.

As soon as I heard that there was a vaccine available to protect against COVID-19, the contagious disease caused by the virus, I wanted to get it. As Dr. Paul A. Offit, an internationally-renowned vaccine expert, told fellow Kid Reporter Lincoln Miller: “Any virus that causes children to suffer, or be hospitalized, or to rarely die—if it can be prevented safely and effectively, then it should be prevented.” 

But when vaccines began to be administered in the United States in the fall of 2020, children my age were not eligible. Elderly people, who are most at risk, and essential workers were prioritized. Scientists needed to be sure, too, that the vaccine was safe for children, so testing continued. 

Several months later, on May 12, an advisory group for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was able to recommend administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds. President Joseph R. Biden tweeted, “It’s one more giant step in our fight against the pandemic.”

My parents immediately scheduled an appointment for me. On May 14, I received my first dose of the vaccine. (Two shots are needed.)

The only side-effect I experienced was soreness in my arm in the area where I received the vaccine. Getting the vaccine was an easy decision for me because I want to be able to get back to activities I once enjoyed. Shopping, in-person school, and being in public without the fear of getting sick are a few of the things I’m looking forward to again. 


Photo courtesy of the author