COVID vaccine eligibility increases

As of April 15 the vaccine became available to anyone over 16 years old


Senior Benecia Jude sits in a chair as she receives her vaccine. (Photo courtesy of Benecia Jude)

Anyone over the age of 16 is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as of April 15. This was announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom in a briefing in late March.

Californians 50 and older will be eligible to be vaccinated starting April 1 and residents older than 16 will be eligible starting April 15, state officials announced on Thursday, in an effort to reflect the increasing supply of doses from the federal government,” the New York Times wrote. 

Since then, those eligible have begun booking their appointments, either going through their medical providers, a local pharmacy or websites like

High school juniors and seniors have also joined those receiving the vaccine. While many had already been eligible prior to Newsom’s announcement due to their jobs or preexisting condition, those who have just recently qualified have begun receiving their doses. 

“Young adults (ages 18-29) are more likely to wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll. Though a pre-survey conducted with school districts found that there was a large interest in the community for the teen clinics, said Bode, who thinks offering the vaccine at a trusted resource like a school may help overcome any vaccine hesitancy — as well as make caregivers feel more comfortable with their child getting the shot without them present,” ABC News wrote.

Students interviewed in the same article have stated that acquiring the vaccine allows them the opportunity to return to normalcy by letting them visit their friends and families. 

Oak Park students shared similar opinions. Senior Xandra Fine received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on April 22 and her main motivators were to see her friends again and contribute to herd immunity.

“Personally, I got the vaccine for a lot of reasons. However, like most seniors I just wanted the ability to see my friends again and return to the normal lives we all once had and the best way to do that, in my opinion, is by listening to professionals and getting the vaccine,” Fine said. “It’s been a rough year, but we now have a solution and I think it’s a great thing that a lot of kids at our school are getting their shots. We’re on the right track I think, we just have to keep moving forward.”