Anyone in Kentucky age 16 and older can now get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Pfizer vaccine is approved for people age 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for people age 18 and older.
Hospitals, health departments, and other sites are opening up to all approved ages. But are younger adults signing up to get the shot?
In an NBC poll, 26% of respondents who are in Generation Z — those born between 1997 and 2012 — said they do not plan to be vaccinated.
Adults who responded to surveys from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said their concerns include side effects, the vaccine being developed too quickly and distrust in the government.
A vaccine coordinator in western Kentucky said that will negatively affect the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic down the road.
Monday was another quiet day at the regional vaccine clinic at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park. Alyssa Edging, 19, was there getting vaccinated to protect herself and her children.
“People are getting it again,” Edging said. “And I don’t want to get it, because I don’t want to be away from my children and be off work. So, I’d rather just be safe than sorry.”
She said she has teenage friends who don’t want to get the vaccine because they’re afraid of possible side effects. Now that she’s gotten her shot, she will encourage them to do the same.
“Just to protect one another, because you’re not the only person out there, even if you don’t care that you get it or other people,” Edging said. “But you know sometimes you don’t know that you have it.”
The Kentucky Dam Village vaccine clinic has the Pfizer vaccine. Since it opened a couple of weeks ago, only about 100 people in the 16-18 category have been vaccinated. Now, the clinic hopes to reach out to the Marshall County School District to encourage more young people to get vaccinated.
Spring break is also slowing down vaccination appointments. Operations Coordinator Harper Ford said more spikes will occur if young people don’t get the shot.
“My hope is to see more younger people,” Ford said. “I don’t want to be the only generation that gets vaccinated. It’s important to get this done. We can protect our older family members and elderly people in the community, and we can also protect ourselves.”
Edging wants young adults to consider the shot to protect their older relatives.
Ford said she is concerned that doses will be wasted. If the clinic can’t get 500 vaccinations done before Friday, they’ll have to send them back to Lexington.
People ages 16 and 17 must have parental consent and an adult with them when they get the shot.
The Kentucky Dam Village vaccination clinic accepts walk-ins with no appointment. The clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.
Those who want to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated there can visit kyvax.com/kydam or call 859-217-4679.