Riverhead High School senior Imani Thomas gets her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Peconic Bay Medical Center April 7. Courtesy photo.

Peconic Bay Medical Center vaccinated its first teenager, college-bound Riverhead High School senior Imani Thomas, at the hospital’s Robert Entenmann campus vaccination site Wednesday afternoon.

The 18-year-old will be a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice this fall, majoring in Forensic Psychology, and will be living on campus at the NYC-based school.

While nervous, she felt mostly excited and shared that she is very happy to “have the opportunity to get vaccinated, and it feels really, really good.”

She currently goes to high school full-time and works part-time, and although she consistently wears two masks, “being able to get the vaccine will put my mind at ease and make me feel safer,” she says. Imani has had many family members and friends who have caught COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and counts herself lucky that it never happened to her. With now having her first dose, she very much looks forward to her second in a few weeks so she can spend time with her friends and making senior year memories before graduation in June.

Peter Mantone, RN, administered the inoculation. Mantone has been administering COVID-19 vaccinations since January and he’s looking forward to help getting even more vaccines out to the community with the expanded eligibility. He noted that everyone has been very excited to get their shots, sharing that he looks forward to an eventual return to normalcy and again seeing friends and family, “all of those things we take for granted. I’m ready,” said Mantone.

To date, this point of distribution (POD) has administered nearly 10,000 doses to Northwell patients.

New York expanded vaccine eligibility to all residents age 16 and up as of April 6.

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