Covid-19 does not only affect older people. Getting vaccinated reduces your chances of getting Covid-19 at school or college and potentially spreading it to your family; and from having to isolate with the virus and missing out on going out with friends. It also reduces your chances of getting seriously ill.
More than 500,000 people aged 16 and 17 have already had their Covid-19 vaccination in the UK.
If you’re aged 16-17, you can easily find your nearest centre through the ‘Grab a Jab’ NHS online walk-in finder or by walking into one of the three large vaccination centres: John Scott Health Centre, St Leonards Hospital, 3a Bocking Street.
There is no need to pre-book and no need to bring a parent or guardian; you can simply walk in and have your jab.
If you’re aged 18 and over, you can can call 119, book an appointment online, or simply walk-up to any of the vaccination clinics.
Dr Jagan John, GP and Chair of NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The last year and a half has been especially tough on our young people who have missed out on lots of parts of normal teenage life, as well as school.
“Getting vaccinated not only helps protect them, the people they care about and our local NHS, but is the only way we are all going to be able to get back to normality.
“I know many young people are thinking of applying to university next year and will be hoping to have more face-to-face tuition and the normal university experience and they can help make this happen by doing their part and getting vaccinated.”
Dr Sandra Husbands, Director of Public Health answers some common questions on the Covid-19 vaccine
“The vast majority of Londoners who are eligible for the vaccine are now coming forward for their first doses. A number of people are naturally worried about something they don’t know much about and they want more information before making up their minds on this. I want to make sure everyone is able to make an informed decision about getting the vaccine, using reliable information from trusted sources. I want to assure you that the vaccines are safe and effective. Here are answers to some of the most common questions I am hearing:”
Does the vaccine work against the new Delta variant?
Yes. The vaccines still provide effective protection from severe illness, hospitalization and death even with the new Delta variant. The latest study from Public Health England shows that both the Astrazeneca and Pfizer vaccines are very effective in preventing hospitalizations (92% and 96%, respectively) after two doses, nearly as effective as against the original virus and Alpha variant.
Does the vaccine make you magnetic?
No. There is nothing magnetic in the vaccines. Viral videos showing ‘proof’ is just a common physics trick using Van Der Waals forces where smooth objects appear to stick together, if you dust some talc powder on your arm you’ll see nothing sticks there anymore as the smooth surface has been broken.
I already had Covid-19, should I bother to get the vaccine?
Yes. We know that these vaccines stimulate a stronger and possibly longer lasting immune response than a natural infection from the virus itself. We also don’t know how long natural immunity lasts, or if that immunity is protective against the new variants of the virus. Even if you have already had Covid-19 it is still vitally important to get both doses of your vaccine to give you maximum protection against the virus.
Does the vaccine stay in your body forever?
No. The vaccine stays in your body for a few weeks, during this time your own immune system is using information from the vaccine to train itself in how to defend you from a real attack of coronavirus. The components of the vaccine, once they’ve done their job, are broken down by your body and removed.
Will the vaccine make me infertile?
No. There is no biological mechanism for the vaccine to affect your fertility and the early studies in animals found no evidence that the vaccines affected their fertility. In addition, there is a wealth of “real world” data from the USA (from the vaccination programme, rather than a trial), which didn’t raise any safety concerns of giving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to pregnant women. There is expert advice and guidance available from the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists.
What is long Covid?
Studies are now showing the long term dangers of catching coronavirus. That is why it is so important to get vaccinated, as the vaccine will provide protection from ‘long Covid’. Even in young people, getting Covid-19 has caused long term damage meaning people have long term symptoms including insomnia, ‘brain fog’ and extreme exhaustion.
I have no recourse to public funds, can I get the vaccine?
Yes. You can get the vaccine for free from the NHS no matter what your immigration status is. You can attend our local walk-in clinics and get the vaccine with no questions asked.
Are there any side-effects?
Like any medicine, including those you can buy over the counter, such as paracetamol or antihistamines, vaccines can have some side-effects. Most of these are mild and short-lived and not everyone gets them.
Common side-effects of the covid-19 vaccines include:
- soreness where the needle went in
- feeling tired
- feeling sick
These side-effects usually wear off within a couple of days or less, and you can take over the counter medicine, such as paracetamol, to reduce the effects.
There are more serious, but very rare, side effects associated with the vaccines. The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is associated with an extremely rare blood clotting disorder, which, although rare, is more common in younger people. As a result, the UK medicine regulator recommends that this vaccine is not offered to people aged under 40. If you’re under 40 you will only be offered the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine which did not have these side effects reported.
The fact is, the vaccines have now been safely given to over 47,000,000 people across the UK, so we know the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks.