MONTREAL (CityNews) – A virology specialist believes there are several reasons for the lower vaccination rate among young adults in Quebec – a demographic that health officials say lags behind other.
The province believes that young adults are a key age group in bringing Quebec to achieve its overall vaccination goal. But while there has been a recent surge in new vaccine doses for people between the ages of 20 and 29, the demographics still lag behind.
Only 68.2% of them received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 18.6% received both doses. In contrast, more than 82 percent of Quebecers aged 12 and over received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 41.6 percent received both vaccines.
Virologist and UQAM professor Benoit Barbeau says there is a slight feeling of invulnerability among young people in the province, which could contribute to these figures.
“They might feel that being less prone to severe symptoms and seeing the current pandemic numbers during the summer season showing good signs, the trend is in the right direction, they might not feel they need to. be vaccinated, ”he said.
Barbeau also believes that a wave of medical information over the past few months can be confusing for some.
“If you receive all of this information and try to make sense of it, it can become overwhelming and difficult to understand exactly what is out there and why vaccination is so important,” he said.
People aged 20 to 29 in Quebec are now seeing an increase of about 17 cases of COVID-19 per day in their age group. They represent 15% of the total confirmed cases in the province.
“It’s an age group that moves around a lot in society, they go to bars, they go to parks, to stores, who work, who are in schools”, explained Dr. Maryse Guay, public health specialist. “It is also young people who are in contact with younger individuals but also older individuals, so that they can transmit the virus, and transmit it to those who are most vulnerable.”
If you recognize in the 90,000 people between the ages of 18 and 34 who are unvaccinated, there is still time to go get your first dose so that you are adequately vaccinated before August 31st.
The teams are ready. We continue to aim for 75% in each age group. https://t.co/iFwyskc8YR
– Christian Dubé (@cdube_sante) July 13, 2021
Health Minister Christian Dube tweeted on Tuesday that the provincial government still aims to achieve a 75 percent vaccination rate in all age groups by fall.
Getting the vaccine was a fairly easy decision for 21-year-old student Jamie Fabian, who already has both doses.
“I don’t want to catch COVID,” Fabian said. “I trusted science to find out why both vaccines were safe and I have family members who are immunocompromised, so I thought that was important as well.
“You watch the clubs, you watch the bars, we’re a very large demographic that goes there, so you have a lot of close contact, you have closer physical relationships, more partners, things like that. So you see more people day by day, so the potential for infection is greater. “
Quebec has announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination may be mandatory as of September 1 for all non-essential activities if cases start to increase. This apparently encouraged a lot of people to get the vaccine.
The vaccination rate among young people in their twenties has increased 5% since last week, from 500 to 1,200 per day according to the Department of Health.
This hesitation is going to be a lot of downfall when people say, ‘Well there is a risk but I also want to live my life and if that’s what it takes to do it then that’s what I’m going to do. “said Fabien.
“I’ve seen other administrations do it like the United States and Israel and give away free food, pizza, that sort of thing. I think it would make a big difference.
The province’s plan is also to find ways to provide vaccines to young people, rather than the other way around. People will be able to get vaccinated at the Piknik Electronik music festival in Montreal, for example.
“We have to go wherever they are, we have to keep educating them,” Guay said. “When fall comes, I think that’s when there will be restrictions for unvaccinated young adults, they will be facing a difficult situation.”
Fabian added: “It has a lot to do with convenience and honestly laziness and also lack of motivation. I was talking to a few friends of mine, and one of them, he got the shot but he waited. a little, he did not really know the process.