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Triad doctors urging young people to get the COVID vaccine

Health experts said until everyone including eligible kids, teens and young adults get the shot, the virus could change your plans at a moment's notice.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Health experts said unexpected changes to NC State's lineup during the college world series due to COVID protocols is a reminder that the pandemic is not over.

Even though cases are dropping and restrictions are eased the coronavirus is still a threat.

President Biden was in our state Thursday to encourage North Carolinians to get vaccinated. The focus is on one group in particular, young people.

Health experts said until everyone including eligible kids, teens and young adults get the shot, the virus could change your plans at a moment's notice.

"We don't have to point towards hospitalizations and deaths, this is messing up a game I really wanna be watching," Dr. John Sanders said.

Sanders is an Infectious Disease Expert at Wake Forest Baptist Health. 

Sanders said we could see unexpected changes, with a high number of people unvaccinated.

A new CDC study finds that out of the one half of adults fully vaccinated, the lowest rate of vaccinations comes among people ages 18 to 39.

The latest health department data in Guilford County shows the highest rate of positive COVID tests among 25 to 49-year-olds, followed by 18 to 24-year-olds.

"We are seeing more and more cases among teenagers, pediatric patients and especially in that 20 to 30 year age group," Sanders said.

Sanders said it's been harder to encourage young people to get the vaccine because they are not as likely to get hospitalized or die from COVID.

Cone Health's Medical Director of the Pediatric Care Division, Dr. Michael Cinoman said severe cases can still happen.

"We still see children who get pneumonia and need to be hospitalized and are very and are life-threateningly ill," Cinoman said.

The CDC said the vaccine benefits far outweigh the risks, even though there are new concerns about a rare side effect causing heart inflammation in young people who get the two dose vaccines.

"It appears to be very mild and self resolving and extraordinarily rare and the risk of developing it is far far less than developing severe complication from Covid itself," Cinoman said.

Health experts hope clear communication and making the vaccine more accessible will help encourage more young people to get vaccinated.

Cinoman said Cone Health will soon be offering the vaccine inside its pediatric clinics.