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Nemours helps vaccinate first Delaware teens

Nick Ciolino
Delaware Public Media

Nemours is looking at vaccinating healthy young people aged 16 and up, after starting with high-risk teens a few weeks ago. 

Nemours Children’s Health System has vaccinated more than 2,100 teens since it started offering vaccine appointments to existing patients with medical complexity or high-risk conditions about three weeks ago. 

Medical providers in Delaware were able to start vaccinating all people aged 16 and up, with or without high-risk conditions, Tuesday. So far, 16- and 17-year-olds are only approved to receive the Pfizer vaccine. 


Dr. Aaron Carpenter, a nurse practitioner and senior director of ambulatory and advanced practice at Nemours, says the health system will likely continue focusing on teens with high-risk conditions—but hopes to work with the state to support vaccination of healthy teens.  

“I think what we’re seeing in some of the data nationally is that younger people are starting to get more significant illness, but also we know that there's a higher risk of spread in that age group,” Carpenter said. “So that is one of the really, really important reasons for kids to be vaccinated.”

Carpenter says Nemours has seen “fantastic” demand for vaccinations of teens, and has filled most of its vaccination events to capacity. 

16-year-old Destiny Mottas was one of the first non-high-risk kids to get the vaccine at Nemours this week. She says she was nervous to get it, because it’s so new. 

“All the theories and stuff that people are putting out in the world ... it’s scary,” she said.

But Destiny’s mom, who has asthma and was hospitalized with COVID, persuaded her. 

“She said, you’re gonna get it—to keep us safe,” Destiny said. 

Destiny’s dad, Brian Fairley, recently got his first dose of the vaccine as well. He brought Destiny to the Nemours vaccination clinic Wednesday, and says he wanted her to get vaccinated to protect higher-risk family members. 

Destiny plans to keep wearing a mask and social distancing even after she’s vaccinated.

Anyone age 16 and older can seek the vaccine through pharmacies, or can sign up on the waitlist for the State of Delaware’s vaccination events.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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