Health experts turn attention to younger crowd in fight for herd immunity
Experts have made it clear that in order to end the pandemic, Americans need to get vaccinated. But there are still plenty of people who say that's not going to happen.
Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a familiar plea Thursday -- "get vaccinated so we can crush the outbreak."
But that starts with crushing vaccine hesitancy. Something that's proving to be a challenge among younger people.
There's also a political and educational divide in terms of who is and isn't getting the vaccine. But experts have continued to point to the bigger picture, like long-haul symptoms of the virus.
"Even for young people who consider their risk of severe COVID to be low, the long-term consequences can be quite serious," says Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.
"You may infect someone inadvertently ... and then you'll pass the infection on to someone else who might pass it on to someone else who might get seriously ill and might die," says Fauci.
Experts say getting COVID-19 under control means reaching herd immunity -- up to at least 70% of the population being fully vaccinated. Right now, those numbers are at about 30% in the U.S.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo also called on young people to get vaccinated. He says just 34% of New Yorkers between 16-25 are vaccinated, though eligibility for that age group only opened up a few weeks ago.