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Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Editorial: More young adults need to get the vaccine

No one wants any more lockdowns.

After several weeks of regaining a sense of normalcy in our lives, we all seem to feel a huge sense of relief — seeing friends, family, being able to go out for a meal, shopping or just socializing.

But the reality is we're threatened by the Delta variant and cases are starting to rise again. We could see more lockdowns if we aren't smart.

How can we be smart? Simple — get vaccinated. Listen to the health professionals and do your part.

Long story short, the fewer people that are fully vaccinated, the more likely lockdowns become. Why? Because more people getting COVID means more people in our hospitals and the more quickly our health care system could become overwhelmed.

If that happens, lockdowns could be inevitable, according to public health experts.

This week Niagara's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Mustafa Hirji, said the most crucial thing we can do to avoid overwhelming our hospitals is to get the jab – especially people 18 to 39 years old.

This age group has historically been a dominant spreader of COVID-19. Yet, as of Wednesday, just 57 per cent of those 18 to 39 have both doses of vaccine.

That's not good enough. And it's putting all of our freedoms at risk. Those numbers need to be about 75 per cent before there's a realistic hope of avoiding lockdowns altogether.

So what does it mean? And what can you do?

Well, if you fall into that age category, start by making sure you've got the vaccine. It's safe, effective and will be the reason we continue to enjoy the simple freedoms we all lost for more than a year.

Friends with someone who hasn't been vaccinated? Encourage them to get it. This isn't political, it's not confrontational — just simply explain that it's safe, effective and is our best chance at protecting people around us.

Parent of a young adult? Do whatever it takes to make sure your child gets the vaccine.

It sounds so simple and the vaccine is easy to get. So why haven't we all got it?