When can students receive the vaccine?


How long will it be until the return to schools is truly safe? Design by Mya Cummins

Justin Farris

When can Manual students receive the coronavirus vaccine? It’s an important question that’s no doubt been on the minds of many. 

 Now, the truth will have to begin with a bit of a non-answer. Neither the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines have finished testing for all age groups. The Pfizer vaccine has only been tested on those 16 and older, while the Moderna vaccine is currently being tested for those between the ages of 12 and 18. This means that when the vaccine becomes widely available, all students (and not just those sixteen and older) may be able to get it. 

 JCPS worked with the state government to ensure all returning teachers got the vaccination, working quickly and efficiently to help start in-person school back up. Students, however, were not vaccinated nor do we require one to attend in-person school. Some juniors and seniors have had the opportunity to get vaccinated, but the majority of the school population will be returning unvaccinated. Teachers will be safe, but students will most decidedly not be. 

 There appears to be little immediate plan to vaccinate students. According to the Kentucky State Government’s plan, students fall in phase three of the vaccination process and the state is currently still working on phase 1c. According to their website, this includes “Anyone age 60 or older; anyone age 16 or older with any medical or behavioral health condition or conditions that the CDC reports ‘are’ or ‘might’ be at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness; all essential workers.” The rollout will take a while and it looks like we’ll only start getting vaccines after Kentucky reaches Phase 4, which includes children under the age of 16. That’s still only if or when the vaccine is approved for this age group. 

 All in all, we can’t be sure when we’ll receive the vaccine. There are tons of variables and the groundwork for dealing with this pandemic is having to be built right in the middle of it. Estimates say that if all goes well, vaccinations should be rolling out everywhere come spring and most Americans should be vaccinated by June. For now, that’s our best guideline for when we at Manual can receive the vaccine.