Staffordshire’s health chiefs have urged young people aged 16 and over to get vaccinated before they head back to school, college and university at the end of the summer holiday.
With cases in Staffordshire and across England starting to rise – and expected to increase further as we head into autumn and as classrooms and corridors fill up again – getting vaccinated is the best way to get protection from the virus and to limit the spread of Covid.
For the 16s and over yet to be vaccinated, it’s now a race against time to get their first jab as quickly as possible so they can start to develop immunity as schools and colleges head back for the new term.
Dr Johnny McMahon, Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Integrated Care, said: “Getting vaccinated needs to be at the top of young people’s back-to-school list.
“I urge those who haven’t yet been vaccinated to get their jabs without delay, and I appeal to their parents to encourage them. The right time to get the jab is right now.
“Autumn is just around the corner and cases are already starting to rise again. We can limit a possible surge in cases through the actions we all take right now. First and foremost, this means getting vaccinated.
“The vaccines have all proven to be safe and highly effective, and it’s never been easier to get your jabs.”
Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s Director for Health and Care, added: “Young people are not resistant to this virus: they can still get Covid and long Covid, when symptoms of the disease persist for an extended period.
“The latest figures for England show people aged 18 to 34 now make up more than a fifth of those admitted to hospital with the virus, four times higher than at the peak last winter – and most of those are unvaccinated. Young people can make sure they’re protected by getting their jabs.”
Everyone aged 18 and over can book their vaccine via the NHS national booking system or by calling 119. Sixteen and 17-year-olds have been contacted directly by the NHS to get their vaccination.
Some walk-ins are also offering vaccines to those 16 and 17. Details of all the latest walk-in clinics in Staffordshire are available on the Together We’re Better website.