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Adults over the age of 16 can get vaccinated in Texas, so why aren’t they?

MMH opened up eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to all adults before the state did - but they haven’t seen as much interest from the younger age groups.
Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 8:43 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Earlier this week, Texas opened up vaccine eligibility to all adults over the age of eighteen.

But in our area, it seems like people aren’t racing to get vaccinated.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas vaccinated over three hundred and sixty thousand people, which broke its record for most people vaccinated in a day.

But over the past few weeks, Midland Memorial has seen a decrease in demand for the vaccine.

MMH opened up eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to all adults before the state did - but they haven’t seen as much interest from the younger age groups.

There have been efforts by MMH to make the vaccine more accessible - such as walk-in vaccine clinics at the Horseshoe that don’t require appointments.

Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Larry Wilson, says the vaccine has proven to be safe, so he’s not sure what is deterring people from getting vaccinated.

“More recently, we’ve recognized that maybe that’s not the problem, but people do have this idea that well, I’m young, and even if I get the infection, it’s not a big deal. Why worry about it? Why go through the hassle of getting the vaccine? That’s what I’m really trying to get across is this idea that these variants are very significant,” said Dr. Wilson.

People under the age of 50 are generally dealing with mild cases of COVID-19 that don’t require hospitalization and are easier to recover from.

Dr. Wilson warns that new variants of the virus are more dangerous to young people, but the vaccine can protect against new strains that develop.

“For the welfare of the world really, we don’t want a new variant that comes along that’s a superbug. We want to eliminate the risk. The best way we can eliminate that risk is to reduce the amount of variants developing, decrease the amount of mutations. We do that by decreasing the replication of the virus. We stop the replication of the virus by being immune to the virus. Everybody needs to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Wilson.

Dr. Wilson adds that even the first dose of the vaccine helps the community develop herd immunity, and that’s the only way to return to normal.

At this time, over sixty thousand first doses of the vaccine have been administered in Midland County.

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