As the state rushes to vaccinate its residents against the coronavirus, one population group continues to lag.
State data shows that just about 30% of those ages 16 to 19 have gotten at least one shot.
In San Diego that number is even lower, only 4% of teens 16-19 have been vaccinated, according to county data.
“It’s okay to be afraid, it's not okay to not look at the data and the scientific research that we have,” said Ilan Shapiro, MD, Medical Director for Health Education and Wellness. “You’ll be protected with the vaccine and that's the best way that we can ensure your family and friends are safe.”
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Getting more young people vaccinated is critical for our state's effort to control the virus.
“If the virus continues to mutate, a lot of the people who are already vaccinated, we just don't know if the virus will mutate so fast that the vaccines will stop working,” said Shapiro.
He adds that teens are less likely to suffer from severe COVID-19 symptoms or die from the virus, but if unvaccinated, they will continue to spread the virus to those who are at greater risk.
“We have been seeing in the past few weeks that actually 25% of all the new cases are actually related to pediatric patients and that's a record,” said Shapiro.
In an effort to get more teens vaccinated, San Diego Unified School District is organizing clinics at schools for kids 16 and older and their families.
“I'm glad that the schools are giving the vaccines to kids because the kids are the ones that are the ones who are more out and they should be the ones who are safer,” said an SDUSD parent.