Aspen students optimistic as vaccination increases


Photo by Elijah Goldman for Skier TV

Maya Shindel, a student at Aspen High School, receives her Covid-19 vaccine.

As of Monday, May 10, any Coloradan age 12 or older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and with many students at Aspen High School fully vaccinated, the end of the pandemic appears to be in sight.

In Pitkin County, more than 6,832 people have been fully vaccinated, meaning it has been at least two weeks after their second shot of a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer vaccine, or after a single dose series, so they can now safely gather indoors with others who are fully vaccinated and are less likely to experience sickness due to COVID-19, according to the CDC. Vaccination information and scheduling for Pitkin County can be found at

Bennett Jones, a sophomore at AHS, recently received her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“It feels really nice to not be afraid all the time,” Jones said. “Things are starting to look up.”

Jones is excited to see friends and step into public without fear induced by the pandemic, and this feeling can now be shared with younger students too, as the Pfizer vaccine is now approved for ages 12-15.

Quynh Solberg, an 8th grader at Aspen Middle School, is looking forward to the opportunity of receiving her vaccine.

“It feels like COVID-19 has lasted too long and I’m glad it’s coming to an end,” Solberg said. “I’m really excited about getting the vaccine and to be protected against the virus.”

Healthcare professionals also feel a sense of relief brought by the vaccine. Dawn Sculco is the Chief Nursing Officer at Valley View Hospital and a volunteer at Valley View’s vaccine clinics in Glenwood, who has been working in healthcare for 22 years.

Sculco saw many patients die alone during the pandemic and the emotional toll it took on families. This year, Sculco believes that the vaccine will allow people to “get back to taking care of each other”.

Audrey Solberg, another student at AMS, is also looking forward to getting back to a somewhat “normal” life.

“I am glad that I will have the knowledge that I am protected and being courteous to others around me,” Solberg said.

However, there is still a long way to go, and Sculco stressed the importance of ignoring myths.

“I spent the majority of my [time in healthcare] as an ICU nurse, and in doing so we gave a lot of medications,” Sculco said in a video posted for the national campaign #MyWhy. “Nobody ever asked me if there was a microchip in it or if the science was behind it, they asked if I could save their mom, or save their dad.”

“It’s not just about not dying,” Sculco said. “It’s about living, it’s about getting back to living. So do your part, and get vaccinated.”