Written By Amirah Ahmed
While many Gen-Z teens have buried themselves in their Tiktok “for-you page” in order to distract themselves with relatable gestures and others’ quarantine stories, most are still seeking a sense of normalcy that is seemingly scarce almost a year into the pandemic. While the status of vaccine distribution varies by location, the existence of an effective vaccine is surely comforting the crowds. The facts are scattered across the news reporting spectrum, but the following round-up of news on the COVID-19 vaccine(s), what not to believe, and what Gen-Z can look forward to dials the facts in focus.
There are two authorized versions of the vaccine, the Pfizer’s vaccine and the Moderna vaccine.The ladder was released less than a week after Pfizer’s; both versions began distribution in mid-December. The primary difference between the two is their target age groups. While Pfizer’s is authorized for distribution to individuals 16 and older, Moderna’s is reserved for those 18 and up. Both vaccines must be given in two separate doses with roughly one month between each; however, the Johnson & Johnson corporation is in the midst of developing a version of the vaccine that is given in only one dose.
A wide community of people are hesitant to trust the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine. While past medical manipulation, especially within minority communities, is often at the root of this mistrust, the most common myths regarding the COVID-19 vaccines have been repeatedly debunked by medical professionals and experts. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, some of the prevalent misconceptions include the vaccine’s effects on women’s’ fertility, the necessity of masks, and virus re-infection. None of the above should be of concern; while falsely reported in a viral post, the proteins in the vaccines cannot stunt the growth of placenta. Additionally, individuals that have received their doses of the vaccine should still wear a mask as precaution for those around them even if they are likely to be protected from the virus. Lastly, even those that have been infected with COVID-19 in the past are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity for vaccination; infection in the past does not guarantee immunity in the future.
What should Gen-Z expect?
Gen-Z teens should expect to be one of the last groups to receive the vaccine. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published their COVID-19 Rollout Recommendations, which is adhered to in the majority of current distribution plans. The recommendations suggest a phased distribution that prioritizes frontline essential workers first, with the elderly and immunocompromised following closely. Immunocompromised teens can expect their opportunity for vaccination sooner than most, but the rest of Gen-Z should strap in for the ride and maintain social distancing and precautionary measures to keep themselves and others safe.