More adults in their 30s and 40s are going to hospital as the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus spreads through Mexico‘s cities, and research shows reluctance to vaccinations is increasing among younger people.
In January, at the peak of the pandemic, 10% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 were aged 18 to 39, according to the Ministry of Health. Now, cases have again reached near-record levels and this percentage has tripled.
“When the virus enters places where there is fertile ground, either because there are fewer vaccinated people or because there are more susceptible people, it will end up sickening those who are not vaccinated,” explained Mexican physician Alejandro Macías.
There is not a big old anti-vaccine movement in Mexico, unlike in the U.S. and in Europe, but the dissemination of false information about COVID-19 vaccines on large social media platforms and by religious groups seems to be decreasing inoculation, as well as ‘wait-and-see’ attitudes and a sense of invincibility among young people, experts said.
A late July survey by the Mitofsky Consultation found that 7.2% of respondents said they did not want the vaccine, up from 2.9% earlier this month.
A global study by Facebook and the U.S. University of Maryland found that up to 11.3% of Mexicans would prefer not to get vaccinated – a far lower figure than in the U.S, where nearly a third of the population has yet to receive the first dose.
In Mexico City, which is home to many young people, almost a quarter of people aged 30 to 49 have yet to show up for immunization months after their age group was allowed to do so. The government has recently started vaccinating people under 30.
(Translated by LABS)