U-D Jesuit teen and vaccine ambassador shares what convinced him to take the shot

Caleb Knuth, like many young people, wants to get back to school, sports and social life - but wanted to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine before he said yes.

"At first I was nervous because I didn't know they did testing or anything already, I didn't want to be a guinea pig," he said. "I wasn't on board at first."

Once his parents educated him about it, the University of Detroit Jesuit High School sophomore says he was more than ready to get inoculated.

"It is important as a whole because if everybody gets it, if we are safe and vaccinated, we will be able to can keep moving forward and not moving back at the rate we are," the 16-year-old said.

As of this week, all Michiganders 16 and older are eligible and urged to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Tuesday, Knuth will be one of seven Metro Detroit teens chosen to receive the shot by Michigan's Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun at Ford Field. 

They will also serve as vaccination student ambassadors, who will work to urge their peers to get vaccinated and follow safety guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus - until we achieve community immunity.

"Tell people to get it if they can, tell them why it is important, the benefits to getting their life back and as a community, push us all forward," he said.

Which is extremely important to Caleb, who wants to study international business one day at Morehouse College in Atlanta and desperately wants to be back in the classroom full-time. 

He was recently drafted to the US Premier Lacrosse League and plays football for the Michigan Elite. Right now, many of our state's Covid cases have been linked to young people 10 to 19 - who are playing contact sports.

"Personally I am an athlete, so I want to be able to play my sport and be able to play that sport without any interruption," he said. "I am going to have to convince them to take the vaccine. We all want to get back in the world we need it to get back out there."

Minors 16 and 17 must get the Pfizer vaccine only and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.