BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the state continues to make it easier for those 16 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine, a new survey shows some Gen-Z’ers remain reluctant to get the shot.

In Maryland, anyone 16 and older can now get the vaccine from any provider.

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“I’m fully vaccinated and I have a lot of friends who are also fully vaccinated,” Kat Georgantas said.

“I got the Johnson & Johnson [vaccine] on Saturday,” Chris Gavin said.

Yet some young adults are reluctant to roll up their sleeves.

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“I have more faith in my immune system than I do in the vaccine right now,” Cameron Bunce said.

“I have some friends that are still like, ‘I want to wait, I want to wait.’ They want more science behind it, they want to see what happens,” Alexis Terry said.

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A new STAT-Harris Poll shows 21% of Generation-Z, specifically those ages 18-24, say they would not get the COVID-19 vaccine, with 34% saying they would wait a while before getting the shot.

“This virus isn’t going to ask, are you Gen-Z, are you Gen-X? The virus is going to say, ‘Are you a human being that I can live in for two weeks and continue my cycle of life,’” Dr. Faheem Younus, VP and Chief Quality Officer of the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, said.

Dr. Younas said waiting, or refusing, will only prolong the pandemic.

“If we have these gaping holes in our demographics and our populations, this virus is going to continue to find new homes and this pandemic is going to get stretched out,” he said.

Dr. Younus said getting the shot is not just about protecting yourself, but also helping the elderly, children, the economy and our country get back to normal.

“And if me getting the shot allows us to get there, why wouldn’t I?” he said.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Sean Streicher