COVID cases are high and vaccination rates are low for the younger generation

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(WETM) – As vaccination rates slowly increase with concerns over the Delta Variant, there is one generation that has fallen behind on getting vaccinated: the younger generation. Those ages 12 through 34 have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the Twin Tiers. Those ages 12 to 15 have the lowest vaccination rate.

Dr. Richard Terry, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Lake Erie College of Medicine in Elmira, said misinformation and potential side effects could be part of the reason why there is a lack of vaccinations.

Another reason for the lack of vaccinations among the younger generation could be due to parents worried about vaccinating their kids, Dr. Justin Nistico, infectious disease physician at Arnot Health said.

“If parents or guardians are concerned about vaccinating their children, is that when you vaccinate the child, it gives them immunity to fight off infection and it’s not to say that the child’s never going to get sick or you know, potentially not get COVID,” Nistico said. “It’s really to try to prevent severe illness hospitalization.”

Currently, Pfizer has put in a request for September to get approval to vaccinate people ages 5 to 12. This dose would be smaller.

Even with concerns over the Delta Variant, there is still a hesitant reaction over getting vaccinated.

“People who aren’t vaccine are getting very sick. In reality, those who die when they get COVID, the Delta Variant, are those unvaccinated,” Terry said. “If you’re vaccinated, yes you could potentially get a mild infection, but no you won’t get very sick. You won’t die.”

Health experts believe that despite the hesitation surrounding the vaccine, the benefits of it ultimately outweigh the risks.

“I think that they should just definitely consider vaccination, because we know now that it is, it is safe. If you were to look in comparison to getting sick with COVID 19, more complications definitely arise from having COVID-19,” Nistico said. “You want to minimize your risk of not only getting COVID-19, but you want to minimize your risk of dying from COVID-19.”

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