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As more people get vaccinated, one group is now a concern: young adults

Scientists say getting them vaccinated means “stopping transmission in the highest transmission group.”
Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig
Keidy Ventura, 17, talks to the medical personnel after receiving her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J., Monday, April 19, 2021. Ventura wanted to get the vaccine as soon as possible to protect her multi-generational family that she lives with. New Jersey is opening up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those 16 or older beginning today; only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for teenagers younger than 18.

TAMPA, Fla. — Roughly 9 million people have been vaccinated in Florida. 

Roughly 41 percent are ages 65 and older – which is a demographic that early on was identified as being among the most vulnerable to complications related to COVID-19.

More than 1.25 million between the ages of 16 and 34 have been vaccinated. It's a number that sound good, but only represents 14 percent of vaccinations in the state.

Medical experts have stressed that vaccines are key to not only reducing hospitalizations and deaths but getting this virus under control. 

Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding is an epidemiologist with the Federation of American Scientists. He says it’s concerning that young adults are not vaccinated and should do it for not only the community but themselves.

“The variants we’ve seen, B.1.1.7 and some of the other variants, they’re striking younger and younger people and often hospital admissions are also getting younger and younger,” he said.

“Furthermore, although young adults don’t get sick as often they also transmit more because a young adult also sees probably 10 times more people or 100 times more people a day than say an elderly person at home or in a nursing home. If anything they [young adults] are important vectors of transmission. Getting them vaccinated means stopping transmission in the highest transmission group," he added.

The latest data from the CDC as of April 27 shows several variants and their prevalence in Florida.

The B.1.1.7 variant accounts for 61.5 percent of cases in Florida.

B.1.427 and B.1.429, the two variants first detected in California, make up 5 percent of cases.

P.1, identified in Brazil, accounts for 4.6 percent.

These variants and others detected in Florida are considered by the CDC variants of concern because they are more transmissible than earlier variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Credit: cdc.gov


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