Culpability for the White House falling short of its vaccination goal has shifted to younger populations – particularly Gen Z adults. Healthy young people feel invincible, making them a tough group to incentivize— but not for lack of trying:
- The White House has partnered with popular dating apps like Bumble and Hinge to promote vaccines, offer perks, and embolden vaccinated users.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci has appeared on numerous Q&A videos with TikTok and Instagram influencers to provide vaccination information.
- Young adults have also come up with creative ways to motivate their peers to get vaccinated.
State-sponsored sweepstakes and giveaways have also failed to cut through vaccine apathy and vaccination rates have slowed among 18- to 25-year-olds, according to the CDC.
However, eager teenagers – some flouting their parents in the process – have boosted the numbers since 12- to 15-year-olds became vaccine-eligible in May.
Despite some evidence of rare heart risks, health officials are continuing to urge teens and young adults to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The benefits of inoculation far outweigh the risks, especially as the highly contagious Delta variant rapidly spreads and poses an increased threat to socially active young people.
Children under 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination are also at increased coronavirus risk. Despite accounting for just 16% of the U.S. population, children under 12 make up 24% of new weekly infections.