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COVID-19, #16ToVote & the Pfizer Vaccine

A “shot” of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine bottles with the Pfizer logo in the background. The Pfizer vaccine has recently been approved for those 16 and older to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today’s the last 16th of 2020 and there’s some good news in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and possibly, those supporting lowering the voting age to 16.

A few days ago, at the end of last week, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was approved. Not only do we have a medical tool now available to combat the pandemic, but we’re also a little closer to emerging from local and state lockdowns.

Obviously, it will take some time before we’re in the clear and it will also take a little longer before a sizable number of people are protected from COVID-19. There’s still so much we don’t know about the vaccine- such as do you need to get a shot if you’ve already had COVID-19, does it prevent transmission to others if you happen to get it but have already been inoculated by a vaccine or when less vulnerable populations like healthy people who are not emergency responders will have access to it. Everything in due time.

Not only has the possibility of a vaccine brought hope for those afraid of the effects of COVID-19 on their own personal health, but it also has brought hope for supporters of youth rights, specifically those working to lower the voting age.

For those not familiar with the specifics of Pfizer’s vaccine, also called the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, the vaccine has been approved for those 16 years of age and older.

How does this help with the overall movement? It’s putting the movement front and center again while lives are being saved. Not only has the vaccine included the disfranchised age, but this opens up dialogue once more politically.

Youth supporters advocating for advancing expanded rights for youth like voting, regardless of their organization affiliation, should try to incorporate this in their own dialogue and think about how we can keep this in the mainstream.

By Pfizer’s vaccine approval, we are showing the importance of youth inclusion in things like vaccine studies and fighting pandemics. This is even more so if they’re given a vote- the pandemic affects young people, albeit in different ways, than old people. Nonetheless, they’re still affected. We should try to find more ways to include them as we fight the pandemic now, but also going forward into 2020.

-Jеstеr Jеrsеy


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