San Diego is making great progress on the vaccine front, but one key group is lagging. People between the ages of 20 and 29 aren’t getting vaccinated at the same rate as older adults, according to county data.
NBC 7 spent the day in Pacific Beach to talk with young adults about their hesitancy. Some said they didn’t feel ready.
“It’s not something I’m against. I just wanted to see how it panned out with everyone else first,” said Max Elwell, visiting Pacific Beach for the day.
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Some, in their 20s, told NBC 7 they don’t plan on getting the vaccine for a long time, if at all.
“I just want to know how it’s going to affect me in the future. Like, do we know what the side effects are 10 years from now? We don’t know,” said Natalie N., who said she has no plans to get vaccinated.
Others NBC 7 spoke with said they doubt their friends will ever get on board. It’s a trend locals and visitors said they’re seeing in other parts of the country too.
“If they don’t want the vaccine, it’s kind of hard to argue with them and convince them otherwise,” said Jesse Carlino-Threlfall, visiting Pacific Beach from Philadelphia.
People between the ages of 20 and 29 are the group of adults with the lowest percentage of people getting vaccinated in San Diego County – 44.5%. The percentage climbs significantly for older adults. About 54% of people between the ages of 30 and 39 have received at least one dose. And 65% for people between the ages of 40 and 49. The majority of 20-something-year-old adults NBC 7 spoke with said they weren’t surprised by the rate.
“I mean knowing them, they’ll just keep putting it off and off and off,” said Matt Kim, who said he was fully vaccinated.
Marlene Millen, M.D, a professor of medicine at UCSD health told NBC 7 that putting off the vaccine could become problematic.
“The variants are out there. We’re not vaccinated enough where we’re not going to see surges during the summer,” Millen said. “If you’re healthy and you’re doing well, that’s great. Go get your vaccine before this becomes another concern.”
Some, in their 20s, told NBC 7 they encourage others their age to get vaccinated.
“No reason not to. Like, I believe in science. I trust the CDC and professionals,” said Adam Zucker, visiting from Philadelphia.
According to county data, the only other group with a lower percentage of people vaccinated are those between the ages of 12 and 19. This is largely in part, because 12 to 15 year old people recently became eligible for the vaccine.