The NHS in Sefton is encouraging young people aged 16 and 17 to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at local vaccination centres.
Vaccines are being offered to 16 and 17 year olds at Seaforth Village Surgery and Southport Centre for Health and Wellbeing, as well as some of the pharmacy-led vaccination sites. You can check other walk-in sites in Sefton and beyond via the NHS ‘find a walk-in coronavirus vaccination’ site.
NHS data from August shows that people aged 18 to 34 made up 1 in 5 of those admitted to hospital in England with COVID-19. Young COVID-19 patients have told their stories of battling the virus and suffering long-term debilitating effects as part of a new film encouraging people to get their vaccines.
Ella Harwood, a 23 year old illustrator from London, was 21 when she fell ill with the virus. She said: “I’m young and fit but I was bed-bound for seven months with COVID-19. Before I caught the virus, I was super active and had no health concerns, but I now suffer with asthma which I didn’t have before and a number of allergies. I fear I’ll never be the same again but I’m making progress and I’m very grateful that I’m still alive. Please get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”
Three quarters of adults in the UK have now been fully vaccinated thanks to the successful roll out of the vaccination programme. This is mirrored in Sefton where over 379,000 doses have been administered to those who are eligible.
Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 or need hospital treatment for COVID-19 and they are less likely to pass it on to others. The first dose is proven to give 80% protection from needing hospital treatment. This could be even higher for younger people as they tend to respond better to vaccines. Getting your vaccine means getting back to being able to do the things you love and see the people you love, knowing that you and those around you, are far safer.”
Dr Pete Chamberlain, local GP and chair at NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “There are a number of local vaccine centres where 16 and 17 year olds can get their first jab. Parental consent is not required to be vaccinated and you do not need to be registered with a GP. Check the NHS website to find a centre near you that’s offering the vaccine to your age group. At some vaccination sites there is no appointment required and you don’t need ID. If you have your NHS number bring it, but don’t worry if you don’t have it. Just turn up, get your jab and get back to living your life.”
Those aged 16 and 17 in the UK will be offered a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Further work is being done to establish whether 16 and 17 year olds will require a second dose.
In the meantime, the NHS will continue to offer two doses to young people aged 12 and over with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of serious COVID-19, or who are household contacts of adults or children who are immunosuppressed. More details are available via www.gov.uk.17 year olds that are within 3 months of turning 18 are also eligible to have the vaccine.
Experts in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have examined the very latest safety data gathered from the UK vaccination programme and from around the world, including the US, where the vaccine is offered to everyone who is 12 years old or over. Vaccines must meet strict international standards for safety, quality and effectiveness. Once a vaccine is approved, it's closely monitored to continue to make sure it is safe and effective.