Let’s have a safe summer – come and get vaccinated! Dr David Crichton

The Doncaster vaccination programme is moving at pace and practices across the borough are actively inviting lots of younger people in for their first doses. It been a great success but only if it’s in your body and working. A local Doncaster survey confirms that having the vaccine not only stops you from being seriously ill and being admitted to hospital for treatment but it also stops you getting the infection.

However, I have heard reports of younger aged people declining the offer of a jab because they don’t believe they need it, that they are not at risk of the coronavirus, or that they simply don’t see the point of getting a vaccine.

In today’s blog I want to emphasise why it is important for everyone to get a vaccine, especially those who are younger, and make a plea for you to help play your part in the fight against the virus.

When I hear people say, “I’m young, if I catch it, I’ll not be that poorly” – well, maybe not. However, can you afford to isolate for ten days? or pass it on to someone vulnerable who may suffer from complications including death?

Younger people aren’t invincible to the effects of Covid-19. I have witnessed a good number of people of all ages suffering with long covid which is impacting their ability to even get back to ‘normal’, back to work and back to socialising.

The nation is at a critical time in our lockdown journey. As the Health Secretary put it last week, we are in a race against between how fast we can vaccinate people versus how fast the new variants can spread.

Please come forward, if not for yourself then for the others around you and help your community out of lockdown, that way we can enjoy the summer, possibly even go on holiday and continue to enjoy a post covid future.

Thinking about travelling? Restrictions and rules are changing all the time, to increase your freedom of being able to travel or attend mass events, having a vaccine is one of the best choices you can make. The NHS app is quick and easy to download and now contains a vaccine status tool which you can use to download a copy of your ‘fully vaccinated’ QR code, save to your phone and use as required. Many travel companies are requesting this proof to make new bookings so it’s great the NHS app means you have vaccination evidence readily available.

Another point I would like to raise is that local practices have increasingly found it harder to contact younger people for their vaccination because their phone numbers are not up to date. If you are registered at a practice, when did you last update your contact details? Is your phone number on your medical records correct? If not, please visit your practice website and submit your new number so when you are invited forward, you get the text.

If you have children or grandchildren who are over 18 and in two minds about getting a jab, please encourage them to take it. It’s very easy to forget about the hospital surges and horrendous daily death counts we had back in the winter, but it did happen. Data shows the vaccines dramatically reduce the risk of hospitalisation if you catch Covid-19 – we need as many people as possible to be protected before winter rolls around again, which it will do before we know it.