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'From the beginning, we knew how serious this virus was': Maine students are scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Students say getting the COVID-19 vaccine is something they've been looking forward to for a while now.

BANGOR, Maine — Mainers 16 years and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine effective Wednesday. It's something students like 20-year-old Colby College freshman Cori Farnham has been looking forward to getting. She has an appointment to get her first dose Thursday and she's not alone.

“Two of my closest friends have already signed up," said Farnham. "I am super excited to get my shot."

The enthusiasm of young Mainers to get vaccinated is good news to Dr. James Jarvis with Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center who stresses the importance of getting the vaccine.

“We continue to see young people who need to be hospitalized and unfortunately do die from the disease," Jarvis told NEWS CENTER Maine. 

Dr. Jarvis wants people hesitant about getting vaccinated, it’s not only about protecting yourself, but those around you as well. 

“From the beginning, we knew how serious this virus was,” said 17-year-old Hampden Academy junior Cam Neal. 

She’s already received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine after being selected from a Walgreens waste list. "[It] basically means if they were going to have any doses that were going to go to waste they go to this list and luckily I was on it and able to get one," Cam explained. 

She said there was no hesitation to get the vaccine when it became available. The pandemic has turned her normal teen worries into feeling responsible for the health of others. A sense of duty shared by Winslow High School student Emily West who has a vaccine appointment this Thursday.

"I will just feel safer being around people and I feel like those around me will also feel a little bit safer,” West said.

Dr. Jarvis believes the eligibility for the vaccine could soon fall below age 16 citing recent findings from Pfizer showing effectiveness in children as young as 12.