By Erin Jones

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With the state opening up eligibility requirements and allowing all Texans 16 and up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, some teens are already securing appointments.

As a part of Carroll High School’s varsity wrestling team, every time 17-year-old Anshul Desai gets on the mat maskless, he worries he might catch COVID-19.

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“I think that’s kind of a natural thing, ‘like hey I’m about to wrestle,’ ” he said.

Getting a vaccine was a top priority.

“He is in a close contact sport with so many other kids,” Desai’s father, Niraj, said. “I think it makes more sense for him to get it sooner than waiting for it.”

As soon as Texas announced those 16 and older are eligible to receive one, Desai’s parents attempted to get him an appointment but could only find one out in Ellis County.

“I think it’s almost about an hour, an hour from here,” Niraj said.

Tonight, Desi will be able to get the Pfizer vaccine which is the only COVID-19 vaccine currently available for those 16 and 17 years old.

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“It being this early it’s somewhat shocking, but also like finally.. okay, finally I’m able to get this vaccine,” he said.

“I am super excited,” Niraj said. “I think it’s super beneficial not just for his personal healthcare, but also for community healthcare because it helps reduce the spread of COVID.

He tells other parents if you can’t find an appointment near you, explore other options in surrounding cities.

“It’s definitely worth it to drive a little longer and go a little extra mile,” he said.

“Hopefully, it gets to some level of normalcy to where you can begin to not be afraid of oh my god are we going to get sick, are we going to get COVID,” Desai said. “Kind of like getting back to how life was before COVID.”

And if you still haven’t registered to receive a vaccine, there are several ways to do so online as well as through drive-up registration events.

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Erin Jones