Young adolescents becoming eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine could not come soon enough for one Maryland 12-year-old.
“I was just waiting for it to be approved and then I told my parents I wanted it as soon as possible,” said Joseph Vega, of Upper Marlboro.
“For social studies, a lot, you have to look at the news and say stuff about that; and that’s how I figured it out,” Joseph said, on how he decided he wanted to get vaccinated
Approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old makes 17 million adolescents in the U.S. eligible to receive it, and you can now mark Joseph and his brother, Joshua, off that list.
Joshua, 14, said some of his friends have been talking about whether the vaccine really works and debating whether to get the shots. He wishes they would.
“For me, it’d be better for them to get it because they can be safer around people,” Joshua said.
And personally, he was OK with the idea that there might be side effects (for him there weren’t any).
“I knew, with the vaccine, it’ll prevent you from having the virus or get even more sick,” Joshua said.
The boys are Kaiser Permanente members and were vaccinated at the Lanham Rehabilitation Center on Monday. They still need to get their second shots and full immunity will kick in when the summer vacation season is gearing up.
“We are all vaccinated! Well, with the exception of our 8-year-old,” the boys’ mom, Blanca Vega, said. Their father is also happy about getting the vaccine.
So now what?
“Vacation!” Blanca Vega said. “When are we going out? When are we going to get to enjoy life the way we used to?”
And that’s what Joseph is thinking, too.
“Hopefully now, I can go outside more and be around my friends and cousins, doing more things with them, maybe we can do a pool party,” Joseph said.
Blanca Vega is thinking about what’s happening outside of her family and the U.S. as well.
“I think about the families in other countries that don’t have access to what we do for free,” she said.
She said she believes getting vaccinated is the right thing to do, and “you want to make sure others are safe, as well,” she said.
For her family, it was something they knew right away as the right thing for them, and they could not wait to have it done.
“And we can’t wait for our 8-year-old to get vaccinated, as well, when that’s available,” Blanca Vega said of her daughter, Sophie.
The Vegas live in Prince George’s County. On Wednesday, in neighboring Montgomery County officials said an estimated 25% of the county’s 12- to 15-year-olds had been vaccinated.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was changed to reflect the boys had not had their second shots yet.