Infectious Disease

COVID-19 vaccination coverage is lagging behind in young adults, and many say they will go without syringes

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Almost a quarter of adults aged 18 to 39 said they would not get vaccinated against COVID-19, researchers reported in the MMWR today.

At the same time, researchers in another MMWR report said that COVID-19 vaccine coverage in young adults would remain well below that of older adults unless their vaccination rate increases.

Source: CDC.gov.

Younger adults who have lower incomes, lower levels of education, no health insurance, are black and live outside of metropolitan areas had the lowest reported COVID-19 vaccination rates and were less interested in vaccination, according to the first report written by Brittney N. Baack, MPH, a behavioral scientist at the CDC, and colleagues.

According to current CDC tracking, 53% of Americans have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by June 20, and 45% are fully vaccinated. Of adults 65 and over – one of the earliest populations eligible for vaccination – 87% have received at least one dose and 77% are fully vaccinated.

Baack and colleagues surveyed U.S. households from March to May to investigate attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccination in adults aged 18 to 39 years. According to the researchers, 34% of respondents in this age group said they had received a COVID-19 vaccine, and 51.8% said they were either already vaccinated or were “definitely” planning a vaccination.

Other respondents weren’t so sure. According to Baack and colleagues, 23.2% said they would “likely” or were unsure of being vaccinated, and 24.9% said they would “likely” or “definitely” not be vaccinated.

“Achieving high vaccination coverage in adults ages 18 to 39 is critical to protecting this population from COVID-19 and reducing incidence in the community,” the researchers wrote. “Building confidence in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and emphasizing that vaccines are important in preventing the spread of COVID-19 to family and friends, and resuming social activities could help provide coverage for this younger adult population increase, especially in those who are unsure whether to get vaccinated. “

In the second report, CDC epidemiologist Jill Diesel, PhD, and colleagues said younger adults on May 22 were unable to reach the same levels of COVID-19 vaccination protection as older adults by the end of August.

“If the current vaccination rate continues through August, vaccination coverage will remain significantly lower in young adults than in older adults,” they wrote.

Using vaccination data reported to the CDC through government vaccination information services December 14 through May 22, Diesel and colleagues reported that vaccination coverage was highest in adults aged 65 years and older (80%) and adults in old age was lowest between the ages of 18 and 29 (38.3%). Regardless of vaccination eligibility, coverage was lower in younger age groups in every American state, the authors reported.

“Coverage by the week of August 29, 2021 is expected to reach 57.5% for adults aged 18 to 29, 71.4% for adults aged 30 to 49, and 85.9% for adults aged 50 to 64 years, 94.9% for adults aged “65 years [and older], and 78.4% for those aged 18 and over [and older]“Wrote the authors.

References:

Baack BN et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021; doi: 10.15585 / mmwr.mm7025e2.

CDC. COVID-19 Data Tracker: COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations. Accessed June 21, 2021.

DieselJ et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021; doi: 10.15585 / mmwr.mm7025e1.

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