Photo by Ben McCanna

On April 6, one day before people ages 16 and up were eligible for the vaccine, Chloe MacVane,17, of South Portland received her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo because she works at a day care center. MacVane said she was nervous about receiving the vaccine, because it’s new and any long-term side effects are unknown, but she also felt relief and lucky to be one of the teens who could get it.

Photo by Brianna Soukup

Amelia Connor-McCoy, 16, at Portland High School 20 minutes after receiving her second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine on May 11. Connor-McCoy, a sophomore, said her entire family has received their vaccinations and most of her friends have as well. She said she can’t wait for things to go back to normal and to be able to do things like participate in a school musical again. “I want people my age to get it. We all need to be selfless and do it for everyone else.”

Photo by Brianna Soukup

Dan Ninziza, 18, a senior at Casco Bay High School in Portland, outside the vaccine clinic at the Portland Expo before heading inside to receive his first dose on May 4. “Us being young people, it’s not going to affect us as much,” said Ninziza. “But it’s very important for everyone to get it. It’s the best way (for society) to recover.”

Photo by Gregory Rec

Portland High School junior Anna Behuniak got the vaccine because she wanted to be able to dance in person with fellow members of Portland Youth Dance after dancing virtually last year. She has been inoculated for international travel in the past. “I have seen that vaccines really do work,” she said. “I trust all the medicine.”

Photo by Ben McCanna

Ryan Mulligan, 16, stands in the Book Room at Deering High School in Portland, where he is a junior. Mulligan received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on April 28 at a clinic in Westbrook. “It was very easy,” he said of the process. “It was like an assembly line. There was no ambiguity as to what to do.”

Photo by Brianna Soukup

Doaa Abdullah, 18, a senior at Casco Bay High School, outside the vaccine clinic at the Portland Expo after receiving her first dose on May 4. “I want to be safe and I want everyone to be safe, and that is what motivated me to get the vaccine,” Abdullah said.

Photo by Ben McCanna

Laney Filieo, 17, of South Portland received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at King Middle School in Portland on March 31. As a part-time child care worker, Filieo had access to the vaccine before eligibility expanded to people 16 and older on April 7. Filieo experienced some mild side effects for two days afterward, but said it was worthwhile. “It’s a relief that the vaccine is getting out to everyone, so hopefully this will all be over soon,” she said.

Photo by Ben McCanna

Anthony O’Donnell, 18, a senior at Deering High School in Portland, received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on May 10 at the site of the former Scarborough Downs. O’Donnell said everyone in his immediate family contracted COVID-19 in November, except him, with varying degrees of symptoms. “Everyone with the power to safely do so should get the vaccine as soon as possible,” he said.

Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Mae Carroll 16, a sophomore at Deering High School in Portland, got the vaccine through Northern Light Health at the Portland Expo on May 13. “I got it to protect my community. Even though I’m not high-risk, I think it’s important to protect others around me.” Carroll said. “It was really easy.”

Photo by Brianna Soukup

Jireh Nyarushati, 18, a senior at Casco Bay High in Portland, said he was hesitant to get the vaccine at first, but school nurse Becky Bell persuaded him. “Nurse Bell knows what she is talking about,” he said. “I think it’s important for everyone to get vaccinated, so that we can all help society.”

Photo by Ben McCanna

Lucy Hartley, 18, of South Portland outside the Portland Expo after receiving her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on April 13. She is looking forward to seeing “family and friends without the constant underlying stress of COVID.”

Photo by Ben McCanna

Nineteen-year-old twins Rose Rasor, left, and Eleanor Rasor of Yarmouth received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo on April 13. Eleanor woke up at 6 a.m. to travel with her aunt from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts to make it in time for her early afternoon appointment. Rose, who was home on a semester break from Oberlin College in Ohio, had her vaccination scheduled for the same time. “I’m just going to eat lunch outside with friends,” Rose said of her plans once she’s fully vaccinated.


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