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Utah teens excited to get COVID-19 vaccine, hopeful that life will return to 'normal' soon

Posted at 9:34 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 23:35:01-04

SALT LAKE CITY — In a school year that has produced plenty of unexpected moments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this after school activity seemed par for the course.

Several high school students spent part of Wednesday afternoon at a Nomi Health COVID-19 vaccination clinic to get the shot on their first day of eligibility.

Read: All Utahns 16+ now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine

As of Wednesday, all Utahns age 16 and older can get the vaccine.

“I am so excited,” said Rose Call, a 17-year-old high school senior. “I feel like there is a lot of people who are at risk for it. I want to be there to help out so no one is getting exposed.”

Rose has managed to avoid getting sick with the virus during this school year that has been anything but normal. She and others hope the vaccine will help speed up a return to normalcy while protecting loved ones.

Read: SL County Council to consider new mask mandate ahead of COVID-19 'endgame' bill

“I am so excited to be able to go somewhere without being worried about getting COVID,” said Melanie Bowerbank, a high school senior. “A lot of my friends are excited to get theirs. Some are scheduled later this week. I am one of the first though.”

According to the Utah Department of Health, 18 percent of Utah’s population is fully vaccinated. That number is expected to increase dramatically in the coming weeks with everyone age 16 and older now eligible.

Health experts estimate herd immunity can be achieved when 70 to 80 percent of the population have antibodies from vaccination or recovery.

Read: Doctors warn against waiting to get COVID-19 Vaccine

Those who are 16 and 17-years-old are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been approved for people who are 18 and older.

The vaccine finder website allows people to search clinic locations based on vaccine type offered.