My millennial son got his first vaccine yesterday. His doctor mother pushed hard for him to get it.
According to a NBCLX poll and a Harris poll conducted in March, Generation Z (ages 18-23) and Millennial (ages 23-34) are now the most "vaccine hesitant" age group in the US. Many of these young adults don't have any prejudice or fear against the vaccine; they just haven't decided yet if they are going to get the Covid vaccine.
Why are they hesitant? One reason might be that the public messaging has focused on older people being at most risk for severe Covid-19. They think it's more important for their grandparents to get the vaccine or they don't know where to go to get it easily.
Younger people are not as tied into our 24-hour news cycle and they don't read traditional news or watch TV. All of the information that bombards us just never reaches them. The public messaging so far has not been designed for social media, streaming, YouTube or TicTok. Like it or not, that is the new communication medium for this age group.
As Covid evolves, we are seeing more younger adults hospitalized and experiencing more severe symptoms. Now that vaccines are available for everyone over age 16, it is critical that we get this message out. Colleges and Universities are now sending messages to their students and we should see an uptick in these generations getting vaccinated.
Do you have a son, daughter, granddaughter, young friend who hasn't been vaccinated yet? Reach out to them and let them know that it is easy to get and give them the information to make an appointment or even walk-in to a vaccine center. Covid is teaching all of us that "It takes a village" and that village is us.