The race to get North Dakotans vaccinated as young adult hospitalizations rise

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There are concerns about young adults not wanting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Young adults have not been enthusiastic about receiving vaccines because of a false perception that COVID-19 is only severe in older individuals. While older people are at more at risk, there has been a rise in hospitalizations for 20-29 year old individuals.

“In June, 3.4% of individuals who had covid between the ages of 20-29 were hospitalized,” says Molly Howell, immunizations director for the North Dakota Department of Health.

University of Mary student, Mary Horlander says she’s not vaccinated but plans to change that.

“I would hope that if everyone got vaccinated,” says Horlander. “We can kind of stop doing so much social distancing and mask wearing because it’s really hard to build relationships and little children to develop correctly when half of your face is covered all of the time and there’s just something about the human connection that’s so important that can just be impeded upon”

The new DELTA variant is rapidly becoming the most common strain in the United States and was identified in North Dakota this past week.

Howell explains, “When people are choosing to not get vaccinated, they are likely choosing to get the COVID illness and potentially have severe or long-term outcomes from that.”

If not vaccinated, it is recommended you continue wearing masks in public.

“People who are exposed to Covid-19 and have been vaccinated, we’re not recommending quarantine and if you’re vaccinated we’re not recommending routine testing unless you have symptoms,” says Howell. “Almost one out of three North Dakotans in that age group have been vaccinated. Spread the message about the COVID vaccine. Tell your friends and family why you’ve been vaccinated, that really does help in promoting positive messaging around vaccination.”

Being young doesn’t mean you are safe from COVID. The Health Department recommends young people continue to receive the vaccine to protect themselves and everyone around them.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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