Lincolnshire coronavirus: Young urged to get vaccinated

Young people have been urged to get their COVID-19 jab to protect themselves and others in response to reports of vaccine hesitancy.

The usual welcome at the vaccination hub at the Meres Leisure Centre in Grantham. EMN-210430-183144001

There are worries the last stages of the vaccine could be impacted by a view that younger people feel they do not need it due to being fit and healthy, as well as concerns over side-effects.

However, this morning (Tuesday) the NHS’ vaccination website has seen thousands reportedly stuck in a queue as the government opened the jab to Under 30s.

Assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council said the risk of getting significantly ill from COVID was “far higher than the risk of complications.

“The vaccines are effective, they do work, and you’re going to protect yourself against illness from COVID-19 and protect yourself against long COVID which is really important as that can be really debilitating for some people,” he said.

“Indeed as the rest of the world opens up some countries are saying you will need proof of vaccine status to travel so there are lots of reasons other than your own kind of level of risk of COVID-19.

“You also protect those around you and for all those reasons it’s for me definitely something to push hard to anyone that is eligible.”

Health bosses expect the numbers to rise as the latest Delta variant – formerly known as the Indian variant – becomes the dominant strain.

On Monday, 63 new cases were confirmed across the whole Greater Lincolnshire region – almost 32% of last week’s 197 case total in just one day. However, Mr Fox said there needed to be more data before a significant increase could be confirmed.

He said Lincolnshire was “behind the curve” on the Delta variant with 24 cases confirmed in the last seven days – 18% in the county compared to 50% and higher in other areas.

He said this was good news as it allowed more time for people to be vaccinated, but he said the county was definitely “not out of the woods yet”.

Government bosses are currently examining the data ahead of the June 21 unlocking amid fears of delays – with an announcement due to be made on June 14.

Mr Fox said that from a purely health point of view an extra two or three weeks would help the vaccination programme and give people in their 20s a chance to get some form of protection.

However, he acknowledged there were also economic and political factors to take into account.