Health experts turn to younger people as eligibility expands for COVID-19 vaccines

Local pharmacies are starting to see more people sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Local pharmacies are starting to see more people sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine.(WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 10:24 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Warmer temperatures and relaxed COVID-19 restrictions have been a recipe for more gatherings for younger crowds; however, the pandemic is not over just yet.

Health experts are now turning their attention to younger people as COVID-19 vaccination eligibility expands to include them.

“If you can minimize the spread in the group that’s spreading it the most, you, of course, dramatically drop the infection rate,” explained Dr. Andrew Yurochko, a professor in LSU Health Shreveport’s microbiology and immunology department.

For example, in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas, people 16 and older can now roll up their sleeves for the shot.

“I think the younger generation, myself included, had a much harder time of saying, ‘Ok, I’m not going to the gym; I’m not going out; I’m not going to social situations,’” first-year medical student Sarah Lauve said.

Lauve, along with her peers, agreed that many of the people who do not want to get the vaccine are apprehensive due to rumors.

“I’ve heard a lot of different stories, but all of those are not true,” Stewart Lockett, a second-year medical student, said.

However, Dr. Yurochko said older generations are more likely to be comfortable and more familiar with vaccines, in general.

“I think, as humans, we’re always worried about new things,” he said. “It’s easy, the older you are, to appreciate vaccines. You have children, you vaccinate your children; you’ve seen the flu.”

Plus, he said it’s the group in-between the elders and the infants who may not be jumping to get the vaccine.

“When I was younger, you think you’re immortal. You don’t worry about sleep, you don’t worry about...fatty foods. I think it’s just all wrapped into that. There’s nothing inherently unsafe in the vaccine for you, for me or for anyone else.”

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