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As vaccination rates slow, more young people are testing positive for COVID-19

Posted at 7:30 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 23:29:04-04

INDIANAPOLIS — More young people are testing positive for COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the Director of the Marion County Public Health Department, Dr. Virginia Caine, said around half of Marion County’s current COVID-19 cases are showing up in people between the ages of 20 and 39.

Health experts said people under the age of 60 are not getting vaccinated at the same rate as quickly as older populations were a few months ago.

“A lot of people in the younger categories just think, oh, it doesn't affect me that much. I'm not going to die from it like someone who is in the older age group might,” Shandy Dearth, Director of the Undergraduate Epidemiology Program at IUPUI said.

According to statewide data, each age group 60 and older has at least 61% of their population fully vaccinated. That population has been eligible to get the shot longer than any other age group, so that could be impacting the numbers. Still, as of May 19, no age group under the age of 40 has hit a 30% vaccination rate.

There is encouraging news from the youngest Hoosiers eligible for a COVID-19 shot. Those ages 12 to 15, have only been able to get the COVID-19 shot for about a week and according to the state’s website, more than six percent have already received their first dose. That is more than 22,000 people.

Health experts are now asking all populations who have not gotten the shot yet to roll up their sleeve.

“They need to get vaccinated to protect the rest of the community, for heard immunity, but they also need need it to protect themselves,” Dearth explained.