Teens 16 and up ready to roll up sleeves in Carolinas, soon to become eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: Mar. 29, 2021 at 6:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s a big decision for many teenagers.

By next Wednesday, 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to get vaccinated in the Carolinas.

It opens up to everyone aged 16 and up in South Carolina this Wednesday. Shots open up to everyone 16 and up in North Carolina next Wednesday on April 7.

But getting an appointment for teenagers won’t be as easy since they’re only approved to take one of the vaccines available.

Right now, Pfizer is the only vaccine that is approved for people under the age of 18. The Pfizer vaccine has only been licensed for teenagers 16 years and older.

When making an appointment, you will need to make sure you’re signing up for a clinic that offers Pfizer. If it’s not listed online, you will have to call and double-check.

But parents tell WBTV that even if it is more of a hassle, each person vaccinated is one step closer to the solution.

“We want to start getting back to normal. We’re getting quite frustrated with how things have been and we want to be part of the solution,” said Jessica Daitch.

Many families said because of that want for normalcy, it was an easy decision.

“It was an instant yes for me, for my teenagers, to get the vaccination when it became available,” said Daitch.

Daitch’s 18-year old son is scheduled already to get a vaccination because he works in the foodservice industry. Her 16-year-old daughter, Ivy, is next.

“I don’t have any concerns. I think most people are ready to get back to before 2020,” Daitch said.

Ivy Daitch remembers what her life was like before the pandemic. She said the vaccine will hopefully bring her back.

“I think I’m looking forward to most to not have to wear a mask again and have people see the expressions on my face when I’m in a musical signing or in a show for theater class,” she said.

The question now is will families be able to get vaccine appointments. Millions of more people will be eligible in the Carolinas, which public health leaders say could lead to delays.

“That’s great news but I want to caution people we will need to continue to ask for patience,” said Mecklenburg Public Health Director Gibbie Harris. “We’re getting more vaccine in the community but there’s not going to be enough that very first week your eligible for everyone to get a vaccine, so the patience is what we ask for.”

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