Some New Orleans college students still hesitant to get vaccine

Bridging the Great Health Divide
Between social media comments and questions surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, some young people are still questioning whether they should get the shot.
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 2:11 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2021 at 12:57 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Sebastian Witte is a Loyola student who is getting ready to graduate in the upcoming school year.

Like any soon-to-be graduate student, he is anxious, but not for graduation.

“I don’t know, I just feel uneasy about it,” Witte said. “Maybe it could just be I’m getting paranoia about seeing the stuff on social media or just hearing about it. I don’t know, it’s hard to say where it all stems from.”

Witte is one of many college students who are hesitant about taking the COVID vaccine. According to the data from the Louisiana Department of Health, people from ages 18-29 are second when it comes to not being fully vaccinated. This age group includes college students like Witte. One big concern besides social media Witte has about the vaccine is the amount of time it took to make it compared to other vaccines.

“Given off of history how long it’s taken vaccines to be made compared to now,” Witte said.

But with the Delta Variant spreading around the City and the CDC saying fully vaccinated people are less likely to catch it, universities are stepping in. Loyola, Tulane, and Xavier are all requiring students to be fully vaccinated for the upcoming semester. They are also asking students to submit their vaccination records online through a portal to provide proof of their vaccination.

Helping with the fight against hesitancy are family members who want their loved ones to be protected.

“Everyone who was eligible has already gotten it,” said Witte. “So I think I would’ve, at some point, would’ve been like alright and would’ve given in to family peer pressure to have taken it.”

Even though Witte is still hesitant to take the vaccine, he says he is willing to take it for the sake of normalcy.

“Even if I’m a bit more scared of it I would just bite the bullet just because I miss going back to campus, I miss being in person,” Witte said. “Even if we have to wear the mask, it’s still closer to pre-covid days than it was our last semester. I’ll be ok with that.”

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