UK youths urged to come forward for both doses to support cautious return to normal life

UK youths urged to come forward for both doses to support cautious return to normal life

Over 70% of young people aged 18 to 29 in England have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the latest figures show, providing vital protection against infection and serious illness from the virus.

A total of 5,940,038 people in this age group have received a first dose (70.2%) and 2,683,434 people have received both doses (32.4%).

The latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University shows that vaccines have saved around 84,600 lives as well as preventing 23.4 million infections and 66,900 hospitalisations in England up to 6 August.

Frontline doctor and television personality Dr Emeka Okorocha praised the rollout among younger cohorts, saying he has seen the impact COVID-19 has had on all ages, including young people, and has urged everyone to get both doses of the jab.

Doctor and DJ, Kishan Bodalia, has also encouraged people to continue to get both jabs and said it is not only protecting everyone, but allowing people to get back to doing the things they have missed such as going out to large venues including clubs and music events.

Dr Emeka, A&E doctor said:

It’s brilliant that we’ve hit this milestone of 70% of young people being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Having seen first-hand what COVID-19 can do to all age groups, including young people, I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to get to this point. I’d encourage anyone to get both doses of the vaccine as soon as possible, it has the benefit of protecting yourself and others, as well as making sure that you can carry on enjoying things like travelling, nightlife and large events.

Doctor and DJ Bodalia said:

This latest announcement is great news for doctors and DJs alike – young people are answering the call, meaning that people can continue to do the things they love as safely as possible now that clubs and music events are back. If you haven’t got round to getting the vaccine yet, now really is the time to come forward and book in for your first and second dose. If you’ve questions or concerns, make sure to get your info from the NHS or your GP.

Teenagers within three months of turning 18 can now book their vaccine appointment online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119. Vaccination sites across the country are working hard to complete the rollout with more than 300 sites already offering the jab to 16 and 17 year olds, including GP teams who began vaccinating eligible teens last week.

Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus are also being contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine.

A total of 87,184,438 doses have been administered in the UK, with 47,170,968 people receiving a first dose (89.2%) and 40,013,470 people receiving both doses (75.7%).

Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, the dominant strain in the UK. The analysis shows the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after two doses.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said:

It’s fantastic that 7 in 10 young people in England have now received their first dose. The vaccines are already making a big difference for this age group and are building a wall of defence against COVID-19 which is allowing us to safely live with this virus.

Vaccines can prevent you from catching the virus or passing it on to your friends and family, and reduce the severity of the symptoms if you do catch it.

Having both doses of the vaccine will also help you get back to doing the things you love, such as going on holiday and enjoying nightclubs. Please come forward for your jabs if you haven’t already.

The government is working closely with the NHS to make it as easy as possible to get a vaccine, including through ‘grab a jab’ pop-up vaccine sites across the country, such as London-based nightclub Heaven, as well as football stadiums and festivals up and down the country.

Advice and information on the benefits of vaccination have been shared at every opportunity, including through a range of partnerships with industries catering for predominantly younger audiences.

This work has included partnerships with high-profile entertainment and sports personalities on short films encouraging people to get the jab, such as film stars Jim Broadbent and Thandiwe Newton, and football figures Harry Redknapp and Chris Kamara.

The government has also partnered with dating apps, social media platforms and large companies, such as Uber and Deliveroo, on adverts and incentives to get the vaccine.

Vaccines Minister, Nadhim Zahawi said:

Tens of millions of people have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, across thousands of sites in the UK. With 70% of young people in England now vaccinated with at least one dose, we are well on our way to protecting the entire adult population.

Whatever your age, everyone has a part to play in protecting not only themselves, but the people around them too – family, friends, colleagues or even the person you sit next to on the bus. And the vaccine will help you get back to the things you’ve missed during the pandemic.

If you’re yet to get your jab, do not delay – get booked in and join the millions protected from COVID-19.

People can make an appointment through the national booking system either online or by calling 119, and can use a vaccination centre, walk-in centre, or one of the pop-up vaccinations centres that are now in shopping centres, workplaces and high streets.

All adults in the UK are able to get their second doses after eight weeks. This will mean every adult has the chance to have two doses by mid-September.

People will be required to prove they’ve had two jabs to enter nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather by the end of September.

From 16 August, double vaccinated people will also no longer be required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. People will continue to be advised to take a PCR test to detect the virus and variants of concern and anyone who tests positive will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status.

Double vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff in England who have been told to self-isolate will be permitted to attend work in exceptional circumstances and replaced by testing mitigations. A limited number of critical workers may also in exceptional circumstances be able to leave self-isolation to attend work if deemed a close contact and informed to do so by their employer.

NHS medical director of primary care and deputy lead for the NHS vaccination programme, Dr Nikki Kanani, said:

The NHS covid vaccination programme is the biggest and fastest vaccine drive in health service history and thanks to the non-stop efforts of NHS staff and volunteers, confidence in it continues to grow, with 70% of those aged 18 to 29 having received at least one life-saving dose.

So far the NHS has delivered more than 72 million jabs across the country and young people continue to come forward in vast numbers, with thousands of 16- and 17-year-olds getting their jab last weekend following the updated JCVI guidance. I urge anyone yet to be vaccinated to take up the offer as soon as possible.

Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 with symptoms and even more unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it and there is growing evidence that they are less likely to pass the virus to others.

YouGov polling also shows the UK continues to be one of the top nations where people are willing to have a COVID-19 vaccine or have already been vaccinated. ONS data published on 9 August shows that more than 9 in 10 (96%) adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine, and vaccine hesitancy for those aged 18 to 21 has almost halved from 9% to 5%. The statistics also showed hesitancy has decreased for those aged 16 and 17 from 14% to 11%.

Vaccines are available free of charge and from thousands of vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums.