LUBBOCK, Texas — Research published by GoHealth shows that Generation Z, those 24 years old or younger, are less likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine. However, health experts say that they’ll be the key factor in helping us all to achieve herd immunity.
“It’s really important to get vaccinated to keep your family safe, older adults that you might be around, friends that might be immune compromised,” said Lubbock Public Health Director Katherine Wells.
On Monday, Texas Tech students gave mixed responses when KAMC asked if they would get the vaccine. Many said that people on campus are split about this, contemplating the risks and benefits of getting the shot themselves.
“I just think it’s too soon because the vaccine was kind of rushed,” said student Dylan Orenstein.
Those against getting the shot said that they don’t feel there’s enough research on it yet.
“You got to look at the pros and cons and I don’t think there’s enough of either or for the vaccine because there’s not enough research out there,” said student Hayden Hultquist.
However, others encourage them to trust the science.
“Just have faith in maybe like the scientific and medical professions that are telling you that it’s safe and effective vaccine,” said student Kirk Balderas.
“This went under rigorous testing and the technology that’s used in this vaccine is something that’s been under development for a very long time,” said Wells.
If they do get the virus, some students said they’re not concerned about having a severe case.
“I think a lot of young people probably feel like they’re kind of invincible, that they’re not vulnerable they think that they’re healthier and stronger than other people,” said Balderas.
“I think some of it is just they haven’t been affected as severely with severe disease,” said Wells.
Wells explained that it’s going to take a lot of vaccinations to reach herd immunity and protect against new variants – and they’re going to need gen-z’s help.
“If there aren’t hosts for the virus then there’s fewer chances for these variants to develop,” said Wells. “So we really want this community effort to get everybody vaccinated to protect both themselves and their family and friends.”
Many other students said that they’re getting vaccinated to protect not only themselves, but everyone around them too.
“Maybe you’re not scared to die but you can affect other people if you have it,” said student Xiao Lou. “So get the vaccine, don’t be stupid.”
“I have been personally affected by COVID multiple times so I think that the young people are kind of the key right now to stopping it,” said student Abby Eaton.
Anyone with questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is encouraged to reach out to the Lubbock Public Health Department.