After contracting COVID-19 himself, 18-year-old Trenton Barfield made it his mission to get teens vaccinated against COVID-19.
“At first, I thought COVID-19 was a joke — I told myself that so I could forget about it, so I could not think about how dangerous it really was,” the Louisiana teen told People Magazine in a recent interview. I would just say, “Oh, I’m immune,” and take off my mask to make my dad mad — I do like joking with my dad, but he takes everything seriously, and he would just get really disappointed.”
He continued, “I got COVID in April 2021, when I was on spring break [in Texas]. I had to text a lot of people. Before I came home, I spent the night with my friend and his whole family at his house that Saturday. I was feeling really bad and selfish because I almost got my loved ones sick; my people at work, my family, my best friend and his family. I was just saying, ‘Why? Why did this happen? Why did I give this to people?'” But luckily, they were negative.”
Once the Airline High School student got well, he took the vaccine and then became an ambassador for the non-profit, Teens for Vaccines.
The reason why Barfield wanted to join the organization? “I definitely want the virus to end,” Barfield said. “We have to work together.”
Barfield said that his mission is truly important to him because he’s “…trying to motivate and convince other people who definitely don’t want to get vaccinated and don’t plan to. I just tell them, ‘What was the end to polio and smallpox in the past? That was the vaccine.’ The solution to one virus, could definitely be the solution to another. Even though they have different ingredients, it was still a vaccine that ended that virus.”
To date, according to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Tracker, there have been 10,974,932,409 vaccines administered.