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When Will it be Our Turn?

by Athena Mata

COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more readily available to the public with each passing day, but when will college students with no health problems be allowed to get vaccinated? The COVID-19 vaccine introduces the body to a non contagious copy of the virus so that the body can better protect itself and destroy the virus when actually exposed. 

Vaccine distribution in Illinois began on December 14, 2020 and it was available to the first phase of people, which is referred to as phase 1a. The first phase of people who qualified for the vaccine were health care personnel and long-term care residents and staff. Then phase 1b began on January 25, 2021 which included frontline essential workers and individuals who are 65 years of age or older. Phase 1b will be expanded to include all Illinois residents above the age of 16 with underlying health conditions on February 25, 2021.

As for everyone else, there has not been a set date for when the vaccine will be available to everyone. Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts that the vaccine will be available to everyone in April or May because the U.S. is running low on vaccines. The production companies of the vaccine have been struggling to keep up with the demand for the vaccine, but they are producing them as fast as they can. Dr. Fauci also believes that it will take a while to get everyone vaccinated and some people may not be able to get vaccinated as late as July or August 2021. 

Due to the high need for COVID-19 vaccines, there are many places that you can get vaccinated when you qualify. You can get vaccinated at most health care clinics and pharmacies such as CVS or Walgreens. Walmart has even done preparations for administering the vaccine as well. 

There have been many reports of people experiencing side effects from the vaccine which could be off putting. The most common side effects from the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines that have been mentioned are injection site pain and swelling, fatigue, headache, chills and fever. Some other uncommon side effects that have been reported are muscle and joint pain, delayed swelling, rash at injection site and swollen lymph nodes. 

It may take a while for college students with no underlying health condition to be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but hopefully access will be granted for college students soon.


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