COVID-19 vaccinations now available for sixteen year olds


Eagle County residents wait in line outside of Battle Mountain High School to receive their vaccinations. Although the line was long outside, teachers reported that it moved quickly.

Reagan McAdams, Reporter

Sixteen year old Eagle County residents are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. This change means that many students at Eagle Valley High School can now make an appointment to get their first dose of the vaccine. EVHS will be a vaccination site this Wednesday from 4-7 pm, and the Pfizer vaccine will be prioritized for 16-17 year olds. 

The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccination that is available for teenagers. Students who get the vaccine have to get the second dose three weeks following their first one.

Holden Delles ‘23 got his vaccine on April 7th, which was soon after sixteen year olds were authorized to get the vaccination. Delles got his vaccination at Vail Health Hospital.

 “I went right into the room, and they wiped my arm and gave me the shot. It was super quick,” Delles says.

Delles wanted to get the vaccine because he “wanted to contribute to the progress our community has made in combating COVID.” 

Emilee Novak ‘22 got her vaccine earlier on March 24 at the Eagle Country Fair Grounds, which is a drive-thru clinic. 

“We just had to go through the drive-thru and fill out paperwork,” Novak explains. “ Then they just went to your window and gave you the shot.” 

After receiving the vaccination, both Novak and Delles reported feeling like their arm that received the injection was sore but no other side effects. 

Before students, teachers at Eagle Valley High School were eligible to receive the vaccine starting on January 29th. A lottery system was set up to determine which teachers would actually receive the vaccine since there was a limited supply of vaccinations at the time. Now, most teachers at EVHS who wanted the vaccine have received their first, if not second, dose of the vaccine. Ms. Nicole Dewell, a social studies teacher at EVHS received her vaccination in February at the Eagle River Center, which is part of the Eagle County Fair & Rodeo grounds. She was able to receive the vaccine because she was chosen in the lottery.

“The vaccination took probably 45 minutes from the time I pulled up, waiting for my spot, getting vaccinated & then waiting for 15 minutes to ensure I had no adverse reactions,” Dewell explains. Dewell felt the operation was well organized and clear.

Social Studies teacher Mr. Charlie Janssen also received his vaccination at the Eagle Fairgrounds and had the same seamless experience. Janssen got his first vaccination on February 10th and his second one on March 3rd. He had a more challenging reaction to the vaccine. 

About 14 hours after receiving his second dose of the vaccination Janssen had “a fever, a pretty massive headache, and throbbing body aches especially in the legs.” Luckily , “the worst of it was fairly short lived,”. 

Charlie Janssen receiving his vaccine at Eagle County Fair and Rodeo.

There are two different vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, currently approved for distribution in the United States. Both fight the virus in the same way; they both contain protein from the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccinations facilitate the development of immunity to these proteins to fight COVID-19. 

Mr. Devin DuPree teaches Principles of Biomedical Science and Medical Interventions at EVHS, and his students had the opportunity to research the vaccines. Students were asked to, “simply explain what the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are made of and how they function to give an individual immunity to Covid-19.” 

“As a biomedical science teacher, I felt it was my responsibility to take a few days away from the curriculum to make sure that my students were educated on this topic,” DuPree explains. 

Eagle Valley High School has been a vaccination site on and off throughout the school year.  

“The excitement and relief on peoples faces and in their voices when they came in the other day proves we need to keep our doors open as much as we can to help our community get vaccinated,” Mr. Tom LaFramboise, Athletic Director and Facility Manager, observed.  More information about Eagle County’s vaccination efforts is available on the county website. There are six phases in total of vaccine distribution; however, there are no specific dates for the phases. Everything depends on vaccine availability and the cooperation of residents, so it is important community members continue to wear a mask and follow COVID guidelines. 

For more information on local vaccine distribution, reference the following resources: