Courtesy of Megan VanValkenburgh

Looking at the camera, junior Megan VanValkenburgh receives the vaccine at a Mercy Clinic.

Megan VanValkenburgh

After discovering that the COVID-19 vaccination was available for individuals under the age of 18, junior Megan VanValkenburgh was quick to act. 

“I was excited. I didn’t really know that teens under the age of 18 could get it until my mom started telling me that people were posting it on Facebook. My mom scheduled me a date at Mercy. I know lots of friends and family that have gotten it, so that helped a lot. It was pretty quick and easy,” VanValkenburgh said.

VanValkenburgh waited for around 30 minutes in order to receive the shot and would encourage others to do the same, regardless of the possibility of side effects. 

“I have only had my first shot, but I would just say a sore arm for about a day was the only thing that was uncomfortable. I would say get your vaccine if you can. It doesn’t hurt and the side effects, if any, only last a day or two,” VanValkenburgh said. 

After having a junior year that was heavily influenced by COVID-19 guidelines, VanValkenburgh hopes that the vaccine rollout will allow for a more typical 2021-2022 school year. 

“I would say not being able to have a normal school year with normal sporting events and activities [was the most disappointing impact]. We are missing so much from school dances to being able to compete in our sports in a ‘normal’ setting,” VanValkenburgh said. “I think that if most of our population gets vaccinated, it will help lower our [COVID-19] stats and ultimately help us be able to reach more normality.

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