To Vaccinate Younger Teens, States and Cities Look to Schools, Camps, Even Beaches

Not all teenagers crave the vaccine. Many hate taking pictures. Others say because young people often get milder cases of Covid, why should they risk a new vaccine?

Patsy Stinchfield, a nurse who oversees vaccination for children in Minnesota, has strong evidence that some cases can be serious in young people. Lately, not only have more children with Covid been hospitalized, but also Covid patients aged 13, 15, 16 and 17 years in the intensive care unit.

The new FDA approval means all of these patients would be eligible for admissions, she noted. “If you can keep your child from going to intensive care with a safe vaccine, why wouldn’t you?” She said.

Mr. Quesnel, the superintendent of East Hartford, Connecticut, said the strongest message of reaching older teenagers would likely appeal to younger ones too. Instead of focusing on the fact that the shot will protect them, they are taking up the idea that this will avoid having to quarantine them if exposed.

“They are not so afraid of the health threats from Covid as they are of the social losses it brings,” he said, adding that 60 percent of his district’s seniors or about 300 college students received their first dose at a mass vaccination website published on April 26th operated by the Community Health Center. “Some of our biggest levers right now are this social component – ‘You will not be quarantined. ‘“

Michael Jackson of North Port, Florida can’t wait for his 14-year-old son Devin to receive the vaccine. Last year, he said, his son’s popular Little League games were suspended and the family had to skip regular Sunday meals with their grandparents. Devin, an eighth grader, had to be quarantined three times after being exposed to Covid.

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