SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – As more young adults are seeing higher COVID-19 infection rates in the state, Central Florida health leaders are encouraging them to get the vaccine when it is their turn.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said as the vaccine eligibility age drops over the next couple of weeks, he’s anticipating demand will decrease too.
“The demand was very intense at the beginning. The demand started to get a little bit of an equilibrium after about 6 weeks and it was pretty steady,” DeSantis said during a round table discussion in Port Canaveral on Friday. “But then I said look, looking at the lower age groups the demand is less there.”
Seminole County Medical Director Dr. Todd Husty said vaccinating young people may start slow, but he thinks it will pick up.
“I think that this is really a matter of messaging, of getting the word out. If people can understand the impact,” Husty said. “It’s just like voting. Every vote counts. Well, every shot in the arm counts.”
He said everyone must do their part to bring an end to the pandemic.
“The purpose of what we’re doing is herd immunity. That is the purpose,” he said. “And to do that it’s not just some age groups. It’s in every age group.”
Husty said most of the positive cases are in the 15 to 45 age groups. He said it is important they get the shot to slow the spread.
“Probably the biggest reason not to wait in a lower age group is for the community. Maybe it’s not as much for yourself, although people in lower age groups can get severe disease, like encephalitis, infection of the brain. It happens, people die,” Husty said. “It doesn’t happen all that much so you feel somewhat isolated or immune, but it can still do other bad things to the whole community. This thing is living in our community. We need to stop being a good host.”
He said getting vaccinated is for the greater good. He adds he thinks we could reach herd immunity by this summer if enough people get the shots.
“We have that in sight. That light at the end of the tunnel is not a train. It is light at the end of the tunnel,” Husty said.