Following Governor Ned Lamont’s announcement allowing Connecticut residents aged 16 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, more and more KO students are signing up. This, of course, follows after all KO teachers have been fully vaccinated since April 1.
Many students recall scrambling to schedule an appointment on VAMS, the Vaccine Administration Management System. “I could barely sleep the night before,” junior Olivia Reynolds said, “and the day of, I filled out all the forms and registrations as fast as I could.”
Some students like junior Marrich Somridhivej were fortunate enough to receive the vaccine on April 1, the very same day they were eligible. Instead of using VAMS, Marrich and his family were able to schedule the appointment directly with the local CVS, only a short trip of 10 minutes away from his house. “It was definitely a lot more convenient to go to my local CVS where there were pretty short lines rather than to go to the hospital, which I heard can often be crowded,” Marrich said.
While currently only those 16 and older are eligible to receive a vaccination, many of the younger students in the KO community, such as sophomore Manu Narasimhan, said they feel safer knowing that their teachers and peers are taking precautions to be better-protected. “It kind of stinks that I’m not quite eligible yet,” Manu said, “but I’m glad that many of the people who can get vaccinated are taking the steps to do so.”
Currently, students 16 and up are eligible for only the Pfizer vaccine, as both the Johnson and Johnson and Moderna vaccines still require further trials for the younger age group. In terms of side effects, students have mainly described only a sore arm after receiving their first dose. However, some are slightly dreading the infamous second Pfizer dose, known for its hefty side effects of chills and fever. “While I’m not too excited for the possible side effects,” Olivia said, “in the long run, I think it’s definitely worth it if it means that those around me, especially my family and classmates, are better protected.”
According to the statistics, the Pfizer vaccine has a 100% efficacy rate in preventing severe disease as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and 95% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 in those without prior infection.
While we still have a long way to go, the ongoing vaccinations provide hope for a safer future in the KO community and beyond. In the meantime, be sure to keep social distancing and masking up!