Young adults express hesitancy in receiving COVID-19 vaccine
Amid a pause on the usage of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, health officials say those in a crucial age group are hesitant to be vaccinated.
Four local young adults between the ages of 20 and 30 expressed different responses to the COVID-19 vaccine. Among them was Jocelyn Gutierrez, 28, who has yet to be vaccinated.
She said she was considering getting the vaccine until the news of the pause on the J&J vaccine.
"I haven't gotten it because I think they’re still in the experimental phase you know, I feel like there hasn't been enough trials,” Gutierrez said. "With the Johnson & Johnson one of my family members got it. She hasn't had any symptoms but that's already sketchy so I'm just going to wait a little bit longer."
Among those waiting is David Robles, a 21-year-old who hasn’t been vaccinated.
"The vaccine got out real quick first of all, that's the first place why I don't want to get the vaccine,” Robles said. “And second of all, I'm in good health so I don't need anything inside of me."
Dr. Cruz Alberto Bernal – a family practitioner with DHR Urgent Care Center – said thes pause of the J&J vaccine increased the hesitancy among young adults. This group is critical in order to reach herd immunity, he said.
“It's going to be more difficult to achieve that goal of vaccinating the vast majority of the population,” Bernal said. "You are what we're calling superspreaders because we're feeling good, we don't get that sick, we're taking less precautions and guess what? You're spreading the virus."
Despite the hesitancy, there are others in that age group who said they feel it’s their duty to get vaccinated – even if they’ve never had COVID.
"It's really important for the community to develop herd immunity,” Regina Rodriguez – who got the vaccine – said. “I know right now everything's open pretty much full blown and some places don't have the masks or the gloves so it's very important for everyone to get vaccinated.”
Despite the pause on the J&J vaccine, medical professionals such as Dr. Bernal say the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are still an option.