by Tom Sine,
“From TikTok dances to fashion statements to old-fashioned public service announcements, teens are doing their part to encourage other young people to sign up for their COVID-19 vaccine shots.
In Springfield, Illinois, 15-year-old Aliyah Hashmi created a line of ‘vaccinated’ T-shirts for people to show off their vaccination status and also remind everyone that we’re all in this together.
The high school freshman told TODAY she was inspired to do something after seeing the toll the pandemic was taking on her mother, a doctor working on the front lines. ‘My family and I were talking about ways to help stop the spread,’ Hashmi said. ‘And with the vaccine coming out, I wanted to do something to help bring awareness.’”
As I have been reminding readers, Gen Y and Z are the good news generations. As the first digital generations, they are not only more aware of the huge pain and loss that COVID-19 is causing, but many of these young people want to motivate their peers to get the vaccine this summer. We urge all those in the good news generations to encourage their peers to get the vaccine. Even though the young are not likely to die from contracting the virus, it could cause lifetime disabilities for some of them. Most concerning is that infected young people can also easily infect those they care most about who may not be able to survive contracting COVID-19.
“Hashmi herself isn’t old enough to get the shot — Pfizer has requested clearance to expand use of its vaccine to people aged 12-15, but it has not been approved yet — yet she knows that vaccinations are the key to returning to some semblance of her old life.
As 17-year-old Journey Butler put it, the best people to influence young people are other young people. Butler, one of the students in the PSA, told TODAY that she’s noticed some vaccine hesitancy among her peers, but said that it’s usually because they simply don’t know enough about the vaccines.
Rachel Kabala, a 16-year-old in Detroit, had seen similar misinformation spreading at her high school… Kabala told TODAY, “The vaccine means us going back to in-person learning… the vaccine will mean we get to resume activities… The vaccine will mean that we’ll get to travel to places.’”
“What these teens are doing is more important than ever, since vaccine interest among young people is dropping. Twenty-six percent of Gen Zers, defined as born between 1997 and 2012, said they do not plan to get vaccinated…that’s a sharp increase from a poll done a year earlier when only 5% Gen Zers said they would not get vaccinated.” “Dr. Anthony Fauci stressed the importance of people getting vaccinated, even if they are young and healthy.” “’Even if you don’t get the symptoms, you are propagating the outbreak because it is likely that you… may inadvertently and innocently infect someone else who could really have a problem with a severe outcome.’”
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