BARDONIA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As New York pushes to get vaccine shots into the arms of younger adults, some Rockland County teens are stepping up. They are serving as ambassadors and hoping to boost vaccination rates among their peers.
Eleventh grader Kara Philip knows asymptomatic young people can spread COVID-19 to more vulnerable populations, so she’s getting vaccinated as a show of concern.
“It’s something that can potentially help stop the spread of this thing and I feel like you should just take the vaccine when you can get it,” Philip told CBS2’s Tony Aiello on Monday.
She’s one of the vaccine ambassadors setting an example for their peers at Albertus Magnus High School, and in the greater Rockland community.
“Certainly, if you test positive, you can infect another person,” County Executive Ed Day said.
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Elected officials asked for help to boost vaccination rates in young adults.
“Just spreading the word to other people, getting everybody else to do it one by one can change the world quicker, sooner than later,” Albertus Magnus student Michael Korchinski said.
One of the silver linings in the dark cloud of COVID has been relatively few younger people getting sick. Hospitalization data from the state shows that continues to be the case.
On Jan. 28, 53 people ages 5 to 19 were hospitalized with COVID in the state. By April 28, that number had dropped to 33.
“I’m tired of corona. I want it to be over soon. So, I’m doing my part for it to be over,” student Chris Metcalf said.
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Those 16 and 17 years old need parental permission to be vaccinated. The vaccine ambassadors will urge doubters to talk to their doctor.
“I think many physicians are on board with getting the vaccination for the young adults and I think take it from there. Communication is key,” said Dr. Mary Leahy, CEO of Good Samaritan Hospital.
Students left Monday with a vaccination record card and a determination to help others see the point in getting their shot.