NYC-area teens get COVID-19 vaccines as state opens shot eligibility

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Three New York City area teens received a COVID-19 vaccination Tuesday — as the state opened eligibility to everyone age 16 and older.

The trio of teens was inoculated at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens.

“It feels nerve-wracking,” Paul Navarro, 17, of Hempstead, LI, told The Post before getting his jab in the arm.

The teen — who suffers from spina bifida and hydrocephalus and is in a wheelchair — said he was worried “what kind of symptoms I’m going to get from the shot and if it’s actually going to prevent COVID or not.”

But he said he agreed to get the vaccine because “I didn’t go back to school until the first week of November — and I’m still scared to be there.

“I’m scared of catching it from all the people at school, the teachers, the students. … It can kill me.”

Navarro, captain of his school’s wheelchair basketball team, said he would advise his teenage peers, “Just get it. It will help keep your loved ones safe.

“It will keep all around you safe. And most of it, it will help get us back to normal. Believe me, I know it’s a scary feeling. But I am confident it will help us all in the long run.”

The other two vaccinated teens were Briana Justice, 16, of Brooklyn, who suffers from sickle cell anemia, and Hanna Riva Goldberg, 16 of Great Neck, LI, whose four siblings and parents got COVID-19 in August.

Justice’s father, Winfred Justice, is a retired NYPD detective whose late father worked for Pfizer, which made the immunizations the kids were administered.

Hospital doctors said at the press conference that while children have not generally exhibited serious symptoms after getting the coronavirus, the medical workers have seen local kids “severely ill” from it at times.

Getting to herd immunity in the US means youths must get vaccinated, too, they said.

The doctors stressed that the vaccine is safe for the age group — and remarkably effective at preventing serious cases and death.

“Getting the vaccine is the first step toward getting back to a society where we can live a more normal life,” said Dr. Sophia Yan, head of general pediatrics at Cohen.

The three teens who were vaccinated are patients of Yan’s, the hospital said.

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