Within a couple of days, vaccine eligibility will open to a wide pool of people, inviting those 16 and older to get a vaccine. But ahead of the new qualifying criteria, NBC 7 spotted younger age groups beginning to emerge in the vaccine line over at the Grossmont Center vaccine superstation.
Luke Michelson, 20, got vaccinated on Tuesday and said his work in the food service industry qualified him to get a vaccine. A year ago, Michelson couldn’t even see this day within reach.
“It’s crazy. Like, I remember like a year ago when the quarantine was really at its peak,” he said. “I was wondering when there was even going to be a vaccine, much less when I was going to get a vaccine.”
Michelson said that surprisingly, he’s not the odd man out. Among his friends, he’s been seeing more and more people his age vaccinated.
“Among the people that I know, it is becoming more and more common. Like somebody has some way to get vaccinated so you start seeing it more often,” Michelson said.
But 20-year-old Andy Trujillo has been seeing a very different scenario play out among his friends.
He said a huge chunk of his friends don’t want to get the vaccine, telling us as much as 40% are against it. Despite how some of his friends feel about the vaccine, Trujillo, an airport parking cashier, showed up on Tuesday happy to be on the vaccine train, telling us that protecting others is paramount to him.
“No, it’s not for my own safety, it’s just for the safety of others while I work,” he said. “Basically, I worry about others before I worry about myself.”
Trujillo firmly believes everyone should get vaccinated. He said the young, especially, should get inoculated given the number of people young residents come in contact with.
And young adult workers weren’t the only ones who turned out on Tuesday looking to snag a vaccine.
Joseph Dalrymple and Nicholas Dalrymple, two teenage students, showed up hoping for a vaccine shot. They didn’t have an appointment and ultimately were turned away. They said their mom wants them vaccinated as students head back to the classroom.
“It’s pretty important so we can get back to the life we had a year ago,” Nicholas Dalrymple said.
Joseph Dalrymple mentioned that he’ also a student-athlete and said it’s been tough. He said as an athlete, sometimes his team members might sneeze or cough around him and it puts him on alert, not knowing if it’s harmless or something to be concerned about. He wants the vaccine to make his environment safer and easier to be in.
“I’m an athlete so it’s kind of a hassle trying to get everywhere, can’t go on buses and stuff with the teams,” he said. “It’s like you got to arrange your own thing.”