New York State is continuing its vaccination effort

Sam Capuano, Contributing Writer

New York State has received over 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from the government for distribution.  Of those 15 million doses, over 14 million have already been given out.  In New York, 43.8% of people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 30.7% of people have received both doses, marking a complete vaccination.  

The amount of people who have received at least one dose of the vaccination is a tremendous achievement, but the federal government is pushing to have more people receive their final dose of the vaccine.  For the first time in 18 weeks of vaccine distribution, the federal government gave New York more second doses of the vaccine than first doses.

Vaccinations are being distributed at Jones Beach and Nassau Coliseum for both first and second doses, and appointments are required to sign up for your first shot.  Upon receiving your first dose, a second appointment will automatically be scheduled for the first day you are eligible to receive the final shot.  

For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the second dose should be given 21 days after the first dose, while for the Moderna vaccine, the second dose comes 28 days after the first dose.  On the contrary, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose vaccine and does not require a second appointment.

“I think the vaccines are good for the country and entire world because it will help us to return to some normalcy,” said freshman Jackson Garcia.

To be eligible for the vaccination in New York, one must be older than 16 and either live in, work in, or study in New York State.  Identification of New York State employment either through employee ID, pay stub, or a letter from your employee must also be provided.  For those eligible for the vaccine by living in the state, mortgage records, proof of ownership, a New York State ID, or a letter from a landlord confirming residence in the state must be provided.  For proof of age, a driver’s license, birth certificate, or current passport is sufficient.

Pfizer requested on Friday, April 23 that the CDC allow it to administer vaccines to children ages 12-15 following recent trials.  In the phase 3 trial, 2,000 young teens were given the vaccine, and none of them developed symptomatic COVID-19 infections or exhibited unhealthy side effects. 

“Pfizer asking the FDA to allow testing on kids 12-15 is a good sign because it signifies the end of the pandemic,” said sophomore Liam Regan. 

Moderna is also conducting a test of its vaccine on children ages 12-17 and is hoping to have the final results in the coming weeks.  Moderna’s study began in December, and if it succeeds as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine appears to have, then it will likely send an application to the FDA to begin issuing vaccines to everyone ages 12 and up.

While the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines have had less fear surrounding them as more people have been safely vaccinated, the fear surrounding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has grown.  

After some blood clotting issues with women under 50, the CDC issued a ten day pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  Six women suffered blood clotting in their brains out of the more than 7 million people that have taken the one shot vaccine.  That puts the current odds for complications at less than 1 in a million.  

The CDC announced that the only real risk appears to be women under the age of 50 and has found that the vaccine can cause blood clots and low platelets following vaccination.  Despite these risks, the CDC and FDA have recommended that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine continue to be used throughout the country.

“I’m not really worried about it causing serious health issues because there have been vaccines since the late 1700’s that have worked, where there has been far less research,” said freshman Steven Theodoropoulos.