Data from the Arizona Department of Health Services show that vaccine rates are slowing down, and the younger generations may be to blame.
The vaccination coverage by age, provided by the AZDHS, shows that only 58% of 20- to 34-year-olds are vaccinated.
In contrast, those rates are far below the 95.4% of citizens, 65 and older, who have at least received the first dose, according to the AZDHS data.
Despite their high vaccination rate, people aged 65 years and older are facing the highest death rates, according to AZDHS.
“Really the best thing we can do is get vaccinated and hopefully prevent this number from going up,” Dr. Richard Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general said to AZCentral.
Arizonans aged 55-64 are 77.9% vaccinated, citizens aged 45-54 are 69.9% vaccinated, and citizens aged 35-44 are 65.9% vaccinated, according to AZDHS data.
The slowing of younger generations receiving the shot may be the reason behind high COVID-19 death rates among 65 and older based off the data.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, “The spread of misinformation on social media and through other channels can affect COVID-19 vaccine confidence.”
Sam Mclaughlin, a 21-year-old Arizona State University student, said, “For a while, I was nervous about getting vaccinated because I was hearing from family, friends, and Instagram, scary vaccination stories.”
The ASU student said she heard information that claimed the rushed development of the vaccine made its safety questionable and that the shot would alter DNA.
Mclaughlin said she felt confused and uneasy about this information. Once she researched what experts and the CDC website said, Mclaughlin said she felt confident about getting the COVID-19 shot.
This is a story other young Arizonans like Savannah Long can relate to.
Long, 24, said she also heard misinformation that stopped her from getting the shot at first.
In an effort to debunk these myths circulating and encourage vaccination rates, the CDC has a web page dedicated to setting the record straight.
The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination starting at 5 years old.