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COVID: Health Officials Try to Entice Teens to Get Vaccine With DJ Dance Parties, Gift Cards

SANTA CLARA (KPIX) -- Public health officials in Santa Clara County are coming up with ever more creative ways to entice teenagers to get vaccinated including open-air DJ dance parties at Levi's Stadium this week.

Each evening this week from Tuesday, May 11, to Thursday, May 13, between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Levi's stadium will feature a DJ and gift card giveaways for people 16 to 19 years old who show up to get vaccinated.

"I really want to protect my family because I live with my grandparents," said Maleina Aguinaldo, a youth ambassador for the county who is trying to convince her peers to get vaccinated.

Public health officials say teens have a lower rate of vaccination -- currently 41% -- when compared to the rest of the population, now at approximately 73%.

"Yes, we want young people vaccinated because their rates are lower. We want everyone who is eligible getting out there helping the community," said Dr. Ahmed Kamal.

The initial rollout of the vaccine was a story of scarcity; the number of people who wanted a shot was far greater than the available supply.

But in a dramatic reversal of fortunes, the supply is now greater than demand. Public health officials are trying to convince the hesitant to get their shots.

"I had COVID in April of last year. And my whole family got it. And my grandma -- she's 76 years old -- she got it too," said Yoletzin Lopez.

Lopez is a youth ambassador in Gilroy. She says she has to battle a lot of misinformation about the vaccine's safety and effectiveness, but had no qualms about getting her second shot at Levi's Monday.

"I got it for me because I don't want to get sick again. And I have asthma. But I also got it for them -- for my family," she said.

Public health officials say teens younger than 18 need a signed parental permission form in order to receive a shot.

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