PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Almost everyone is eligible now to sign up to get a vaccination appointment, but some aren't exactly jumping at the chance. This comes as COVID-19 cases rise across the world among young people.

"They're the driving force now with new cases," said Dr. Frank LoVecchio with Valleywise Health.  "The global cases of COVID have increased week over week for the 7th week in a row." He worries that could also happen in Arizona. 

Young people like 25-year-old Jason Biesma and 24-year-old Martin Ramirez say time is what has kept them from getting the COVID-19 vaccine so far. "I've just been busy, and appointments were really hard to come by," said Biesma. He finally booked an appointment for the shot next week.

"I haven't gotten it yet because I've been really busy with work and also because I heard stuff about it, like the side effects," said Ramirez.

Over the last few weeks, numbers in Arizona show an average of more than 300 new cases a day for people in the 20 to 44 age group. That's triple, and in some cases, more than quadruple the number reported in other age brackets.

"With travel going up, with our regulations not as strict as they were, I think we're going to see a little bump," said LoVecchio. "Do I think it's going to be as high as we had before? No. I don't think so. More of us are vaccinated."

Data from the state health department dashboard also shows a big increase in cases for people under 20, where there's been about 150 new cases each day. LoVecchio says researchers are keeping an eye on kids with the variant from the UK.

"A variant like B.1.1.7 that spreads easier is going to be more of a danger to them," said LoVecchio. "Why is that? Well, because if they have it, they're more likely to give it to many people than if they didn't have the mutated one."

Doctors say mutations are just another reason to get that vaccine. "You kind of have that young body complex where you think you can handle anything, and you're invincible," said Biesma.

 

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