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Young people urged to have vaccine to avoid the risks of debilitating Covid-19

The NHS in south West London has joined the government’s call for young people to get vaccinate, as patients in their 20s and 30s share their stories about the effects of Covid-19.

The new video – which can be watched on Vimeo – features several patients who experienced serious symptoms of Covid-19 or developed long Covid.

It also has doctors and frontline staff who treated them warning of the dangers of the virus for those who are not vaccinated. It is narrated by A&E doctor Dr Emeka Okorocha.

The latest figures show that hospitals are seeing a rise in unvaccinated young adults admitted with Covid-19.

A fifth of Covid-19 hospital admissions in England are aged 18 to 34 – four times higher than the peak in the winter of 2020.

All at-risk people aged 12 to 15 in England have also been invited for a vaccination and young people are encouraged to take up the offer as soon as possible to build vital protection before returning to school in September.

Megan Higgins, a 25-year-old special needs tutor from London who is suffering from long Covid, said: “I was always careful about catching Covid-19, but I’m healthy and active so thought if I catch it, I’d probably brush it off.

It’s now been eight months since I tested positive, and I can’t even walk around the shops without getting exhausted.

Long Covid is debilitating so please, get vaccinated. I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what I have.”

Ella Harwood, a 23-year-old illustrator from London, said: “I’m young and fit but I was bed-bound for seven months with Covid-19.

Before I caught the virus, I was super active and had no health concerns, but I now suffer with asthma which I didn’t have before and a number of allergies.

“I fear I’ll never be the same again but I’m making progress and I’m very grateful that I’m still alive. Please get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”

People can book their vaccination appointment at www.nhs.uk or freephone 119. They can also find their closest walk-in clinic at https://swlondonccg.nhs.uk/.

More than one in 20 people aged 16 to 29 (6.3%) have had long Covid, which is higher than the national average. Many of these have said long Covid has had a major impact on their lives, especially the ability to exercise, work, and maintain relationships.

Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, the dominant strain in the UK.

The analysis shows the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after two doses.

 

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