At the beginning of this month, Kern County’s Public Health Services department announced that anyone 16 or older would be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
As of April 18, the LA Times reports that 29.7 percent of Kern County has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, meanwhile 19.1 percent is fully vaccinated. While the county rates for COVID-19 vaccinations have been on the rise, they still lag behind many other counties, as well as California’s overall vaccination rates.
With this expansion of eligibility, many high schoolers have now become part of the group of people eligible to receive the vaccine. Kern Sol News reached out to McFarland High School students to ask whether or not they plan on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what they had to say:
Yes, I am planning to get the vaccine to help stop the spread of COVID. Getting the vaccine will not only help myself, but the people around me as well that are at an increased risk of developing a more severe case of COVID. For me, being vaccinated is like coming up for a breath of fresh air knowing that I run less of a risk of transmitting the virus to others or becoming severely ill. –
— Mikayla Ayon, Sophomore
Yes, I am planning to get the vaccine. Preferably the Pfizer one after recent news of the side effects of Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. The reason I’m willing to get the vaccine is because we all need to play our part in returning our lives back to normal and trusting in science and pharmaceutical experts around the world.
— Pedro Estrada, Senior
I do not plan to get the vaccine myself because I recently got COVID, but I would not object to getting the vaccine at a later date. At the moment, I feel safe due to the antibodies I have from getting COVID earlier.
— Teresa Arambula, Senior
Personally I am not planning on getting the vaccine. During the pandemic I have been out and about always going out of the city and always meeting new people. I also work at a gym where I’m always surrounded by people and always working out and using the same machines everyone has touched. During all this time not one person in my family household has caught the virus at all, so I believe the vaccine isn’t necessary to take when you’re active and around others building immunity.
— Steven Garcia, Senior
Yes I’m planning to get the vaccine myself! I’m getting it to keep myself and others safe. I just really want this pandemic to be over already.
— Tania Mancilla, Senior
Yes I’d get the vaccine. Even if there are rumors and talk about side effects, I still highly believe that with the vaccine, I’d be more immune to COVID than before, which is a great and comforting mindset I like to possess especially during a crisis that we are currently in.
— Sebastian Torres, Senior
I am definitely planning on getting the vaccine myself now that it’s become available for my age group. I have viewed this action as not only a step to keeping my family and I healthy, but it’s a responsibility as a community member to take it. Being able to protect myself while also decreasing the overall number of cases in my town is something that will result with this action. Trusting the medical professionals and keeping up to date with credible news outlets has only proven that this is the best option for every single individual. The benefits of ending this year long pandemic and obtaining a normal lifestyle again sums up my main reasoning as to why I’m definitely inclined to take the vaccine.
— Leslie Vasquez, Senior
Yes, I am planning to get the vaccine! Thankfully I got to get my first dose. I can’t wait to get my second. I wanted to get the COVID vaccine so I can do my part and to keep my loved ones safe and myself as well. Anyone that is eligible to get the vaccine should definitely get it. We should all do our part to move on from this pandemic that completely changed our lives and to do that is to get vaccinated!
— Pablo Ontiveros, Sophomore