July 29, 2021 1.42 pm This story is over 34 months old

‘Please, please get your jab’ – nurse’s plea to young people in Lincolnshire

There’s been a rise in under 40s being hospitalised

Young people in Lincolnshire are being warned they still need to get their COVID jabs – even though infection rates are dropping.

While more than one million vaccinations have now been given across the county, there has been a very definite drop-off in uptake amongst people under 40, especially those aged 24-29, and this is a picture that is replicated across the entire country.

Rebecca Neno, director of COVID and influenza vaccination programmes for NHS Lincolnshire, said: “Anecdotally there does seem to be a sense amongst some people, particularly younger ones, that since the numbers of COVID cases have been falling over the previous week, they do need not to be vaccinated. They could not be more wrong.

“Yesterday we saw a rise in cases after a week of numbers dropping, there is a steady but definite increase in the number of people, mostly younger unvaccinated people, being admitted to hospital across the country, and we have not yet seen the impact of ‘Freedom Day’ which took place on Monday last week, which could still lead to a further significant rise in covid cases.”

With the country gradually opening up, both domestically and in the near future to travellers from the EU and USA who have had both vaccinations, the importance of getting vaccinated twice, not least to get the maximum protection possible, is arguably greater now than before.

Young people queued up to get into Kinky Disco in Lincoln, which opened at midnight as soon as COVID restrictions were lifted on Freedom Day. | Photo: Kinky Disco

Rebecca said: “This is still a disease that can make you very unwell, could hospitalise you or even kill you, particularly if you have not been vaccinated.

“With the UK about to open up to EU and USA citizens who are fully vaccinated, it seems reasonable to think that these countries will reciprocate that arrangement at some point and will place similar entry requirements on UK nationals.

“But if you’re not worried about being seriously ill or worse, or not being able to travel out of the UK, perhaps consider the debate currently around the possibility that we will all need to be double jabbed to be able to go and do the other things we used to take for granted closer to home, like students being able to attend lectures or football fans being able to go and see their team play.

“For every one of us, our vaccination status seems likely to have a significant bearing on our lives for the foreseeable future whether we like it or not.”

The vaccination has significantly weakened the link between getting COVID and being seriously ill, hospitalised or worse, and the vaccination roll out continues across Lincolnshire, either via pre-booked appointments that can be arranged via the National Booking System website or by calling 119, or by attending one of the county’s walk-in events.

A patient preparing to receive their first jab at Bridge Central in Lincoln.

Rebecca added: “COVID case rates are going to rise and fall, the last eighteen months tells us that, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of security when they fall – they will in all likelihood rise again.

“The crucial thing is the vaccination programme has given us a chance of getting our lives back to some kind of new normal and hopefully staying ahead of the disease, but to do that relies on all of us getting vaccinated twice.

“Please, please, please do the right thing and get vaccinated, for your loved ones as much as anything else.

“If you have any concerns about getting vaccinated, talk to one of our teams at our vaccination sites, they will provide whatever information you need to allow you to make your own decision and to help you sort the fact from the fiction.”