Council invites young people aged 16 to 17 to get a Covid-19 vaccine

Young people aged 16 to 17 years old are invited to get their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in a further effort to boost take-up in this age group ahead of their return to education or training.

Amber Hughes head and shoulder shot

This latest push follows the council’s #GrabTheJab campaign which was developed for younger people (aged 18-30) to help them feel safe and confident as they begin to enjoy activities that have been restricted for a long time in a bid to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Getting back to doing the things they love and protecting friends, colleagues and more vulnerable loved ones was precisely what motivated Amber Hughes, 17, from Southend to get her Covid-19 vaccination.

Amber is currently studying a beauty course at South Essex College and also works part-time in Sainsburys. She recently had her first Covid-19 jab at the Civic Centre vaccination site.

Amber said: “I decided to get the Covid-19 jab because I wanted to protect my nan, also because my dad is planning to take me away next year. But most of all so I can get back to normality. I went to the Civic Centre and the people there were very nice, they made me feel at ease and it was very fast and pain free.”

Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public health for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “It is excellent to see the enthusiasm young people like Amber have shown to get a Covid-19 vaccine and help to build our wall of defence against this virus.

“The vaccine is safe and effective with nearly nine in 10 adults already taking up the offer, and I would urge anyone eligible, especially those 16 and 17 year-olds heading back into education or training, to get their life-saving jab which also protects their families and their friends from the virus.”

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) who have advised all 16 and 17 year olds to receive their first dose of the vaccine have considered the latest data before making their recommendation.

While Covid-19 is typically mild or asymptomatic in most young people, it can be very unpleasant for some and for this particular age group, one dose of the vaccine is expected to provide good protection against severe illness and hospitalisation.

New Covid guidance on self-isolating means everyone who has had both Covid-19 vaccination doses will no longer need to self-isolate if they’ve been identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. They will need to book a PCR test to check they haven’t caught the virus. It is possible to pass the Covid-19 Delta variant onto to others even if you are fully vaccinated and therefore if the test is positive, you will need to self-isolate immediately.

If you are fully vaccinated and you get a negative result you are not required to self-isolate but you can help protect others by:

  • taking a twice weekly LFD test
  • wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and where you are unable to maintain social distancing
  • considering limiting contact with people who are at a higher risk from Covid-19
  • opening doors and windows to let in fresh air when meeting people inside
  • regular hand washing using warm water, liquid soap and paper towels

Cllr Cheryl Nevin, cabinet member for adult social care & health integration, added: “It’s great to see our young people having the opportunity to grab a jab. If you’ve only had one jab or haven’t started to get vaccinated yet, you will need to isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and must not attend work and avoid going out for ten days.

“Taking up the vaccine will not only protect you, your friends and family but also having two Covid-19 vaccine doses means you do not to have to self-isolate, if you are a contact of a case of Covid-19.”

A walk-in Covid-19 vaccination site is available at the Southend Civic Centre and for those aged 16 years and over.

Published: 2nd September 2021

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