36% of Gen Z-ers say ‘no’ to getting a vaccine: How can we convince skeptical young people to get a coronavirus shot?

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Credit: AFP
Credit: AFP

A new Quinnipiac University poll found that 36% of Americans under 35 don’t plan on getting the vaccine.

Some of this hesitancy can be attributed to a desire to avoid negative side effects or simply a feeling of invincibility. As Gen-Z’ers, we can relate. Most of the news coverage early in the pandemic focused on the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on older adults… However, a study analyzing mortality rates for adults aged 25-44 between March 2020 and July 2020 suggested that Covid-related mortality may have been underdetected in this population.

While it will be challenging to create effective campaigns that resonate authentically with Gen Z, it’s a necessary step to build trust among our generation.

Policy leaders also need to engage our generation using creative incentives. Israel, the world leader in vaccinations, struggled with vaccinating younger people and began offering free food and beverages. It’s been encouraging to see private businesses and local governments in the US start stepping forward in similar ways, including Krispy Kreme’s free donut offer or West Virginia’s plan to provide a $100 savings bond to every resident aged 16-35 who gets vaccinated.

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The latest wave of cases shows that we need a collective effort. It’s time to give Gen Z a seat at the table. 

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Related article:  Despite anti-vax fears, vaccines are safe
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