covid-19 vaccine

Young People ‘Have the Power to Get Us Closer to Herd Immunity,' Doctor Says

All adults in Texas will be eligible to register for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday.

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There are more signs of life in Deep Ellum thanks to lifted restrictions and warmer weather. Young people who like to hang out there say this is only the beginning for North Texas.

“It’s right back to the way it was before everything happened,” Julian Race said. “If it was ‘hot girl summer’ two years ago, it’s going to be that this time.”

On the heels of Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to open Texas, all adults will soon be eligible for the vaccine.

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Meenakshi Ramanathan is an infectious disease clinical pharmacist and a college professor at the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth. She said she believes we can expect a greater sense of relief once vaccinations are more widespread among the younger population.

“We need 70-85% of the population to receive the vaccine in order to get to herd immunity and some way of normal like we used to live,” Ramanathan said. “So, you know, our 20- to 30-year olds do make up a large chunk of the state.”

According to the census, people 65 and older make up just 13% of the entire state. The CDC says roughly 10% of Texans have been fully vaccinated.

“So that’s a very small percentage and I know we can definitely do much better,” Ramanathan said.

Dallas resident Skyler Fyke has made up his mind and said he will get the vaccine. At 34 years old, he caught COVID-19 and said it was after an evening out with friends.

“It was a stressful week and I had kind of chosen to go out with some friends, you know. So much to my dismay, it hit me,” Fyke said.

He affirmed his decision to get the shot with a recent visit to the doctor, who told him anyone with a chance to get the vaccine should do so.

Ramanathan said young people can influence what happens over the next several weeks and months.

“Younger folks definitely have the power to get us closer to herd immunity, and also protect your parents, your brothers, your sisters, your grandparents,” she said.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations in the state of Texas, click here.

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