Vaccine hesitancy grows among young adults

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 3:19 PM CDT
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(CNN) – There’s a growing vaccine hesitancy among young adults as the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus spreads across the United States.

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinations in that age group have been lower and increased more slowly when compared to other age groups.

It has health experts worried.

“Even individuals with mild illness could have long-lasting symptoms,” said emergency room physician Dr. Leana Wen. “There are people who have lost their hair and people who continue to have loss of the sense of taste or smell.”

The CDC report found the weekly rate of newly vaccinated adults, ages 18 to 29, slowed from 3.6% to 2% between April 19 and May 22.

President Joe Biden has urged people in the age group to get the shot, citing the delta variant’s alarming rate of spread and saying Americans dying of COVID-19 are overwhelmingly unvaccinated.

“It should cause reconsideration, especially to young people,” he said.

According to an analysis of data from the CDC, people who died of COVID-19 in May were younger and more disproportionately Black than those who have died of the virus throughout the pandemic.

The information also reveals less than 9% of Black people are fully vaccinated.

Yet, some people like 21-year-old Destiny Britt say they’re skeptical.

“I just need to make sure that it’s been around for some time where I know specifically what the side effects are,” she said.

Her hesitation is caused in part by the legacy of the Tuskegee syphilis study on African Americans and concerns about the vaccine’s potential rare side effects.

“How do I know that that small percentage won’t be me?” she asked.

The White House is partnering with organizations and private companies to incentivize adults under 30 to get vaccinated.

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