Eligible youth encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Today, eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine opens to all Oregonians age 16 and over. Snake River Pediatrics’ Matt Berria, PhD, PA-C, said it is important that youth get vaccinated.

“Snake River Pediatrics strongly recommends eligible adolescents receive the safe and highly efficacious COVID-19 vaccine. Doing so not only protects them but also their families, friends, classmates, and teammates,” Berria said. “Receiving the vaccine goes a long way in protecting those that can’t protect themselves, such as younger siblings. It is a simple and effective way to show they care about those around them.”

Berria also said that once people are fully immunized, they no longer need to be tested or quarantined for exposure to COVID-19, can closely associate with other vaccinated individuals without wearing a mask or social distancing, and might even help others who are hesitant about the vaccine make an informed decision, “rather than relying on false and potentially harmful information propagated in part by social media.” 

In Malheur County, where the supply of COVID-19 vaccine now exceeds demand, adults should have no trouble getting vaccinated; however, there is a limited supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the only one approved for people ages 16-17.

People in this age group are encouraged to call Walgreens in Ontario and speak with someone in the pharmacy to get scheduled for a vaccine appointment. The number is 541-889-6288.

Snake River Pediatrics is expecting a shipment of Pfizer vaccine in early May. The Oregon Health Authority is working to expand availability of the Pfizer vaccine throughout the state.

For more information, visit the OHA’s Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for 16- and 17-year-olds