Millennials and Gen Zers, who comprise the largest segment of Guam’s population, are flocking to the island’s COVID vaccination clinics.
Dr. Felix Cabrera, chief medical officer at the Department of Public Health and Social Services, said Public Health was not expecting such a high turnout from this age group.
“The one thing that I think really surprised us, and it’s a happy surprise, is that we were really worried about the Millennials and the Gen Z-ers not coming out once their age group became eligible. And remember, they are the biggest age groups on island, just by pure numbers. If you’re looking at those 16 to 29 years old, you’re talking about 38,000 persons on island. And then 30-to-39-year-olds, you’re looking at 21,000. And then 40-to-49, it’s just under 20,000,” Dr. Cabrera said in an interview with NewsTalk K-57’s Patti Arroyo.
But by far, Cabrera said the 16-to-29-year-old age group is the largest group that’s coming out and getting vaccinated, especially over the past week, way more than any other age group.
“And so that’s really reassuring. And I really applaud them for coming out. I mean they’ve blown away our expectations. And they’re really motivated to get vaccinated and we just need more of them to continue and to continue the momentum. And so we’re really proud of that,” Cabrera said.
The doctor also addressed the topic of lowering the age of eligibility for the vaccine even further.
He said that both Johnson & Johnson and Moderna have run trials on people from the ages of 12 to 15 years old and the signs are promising.
The data has shown 100% effectiveness for that age group, with side-effects no worse than that seen in adults.
He said the companies are submitting their data to the FDA.
If the FDA approves lowering the age of eligibility to 12, then the next step would be for the CDC to adopt that policy before it gets implemented locally.
Cabrera said that one of the most positive signs from recent vaccine clinics is the strong response from young people.