With people 16 and older now eligible to get their COVID-19 shots, the hope is it will lead America down the path to a healthier and more normal life.
Not to mention that much desired herd immunity.
But there’s something that may get in the way.
Interest in the vaccine is plummeting.
At the start of the pandemic, Gen Z was more eager than any other group to get the vaccine.
In 2020, NBC did a poll that showed only 5% of those 25 or younger planned to skip getting the jab.
A year later, that number jumped. Today, 26% say thanks, but we’ll skip out on the opportunity.
So what changed?
Todd Furniss, a health care insider and author of the book “The 60% Solution: Rethinking Healthcare,” said it comes down to a few factors from vaccine questions being raised to young people feeling somewhat invincible with health care concerns.
“They shouldn’t feel that way. They ought to be concerned about their own health and the health of others,” Furniss said. “But I think the third thing would be we’ve got to figure out a way to talk to Gen Zers. We have to figure out how to target messages toward that demographic, and I don’t think we have done a very good job of that thus far.”
Furniss said for young people, it has to go beyond just telling them what to do.
“They have to feel a part of that and want to participate in it in order to feel a part of a community. I think you can’t just simply say, ‘You have to do this,’ because that kind of a forceful initiative will likely fall on deaf ears,’” Furniss said.
He said Gen Zers are more likely to participate if they feel like they are part of a broader mission.