Younger age groups urged to have vaccine

YOUNG Islanders are at greater risk of experiencing ‘long Covid’, a government spokesperson has said, and are being encouraged to get the vaccine to help build herd immunity.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30759398)
Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30759398)

The government has confirmed that the vaccine rollout programme remains on track and that those aged 18-39 would be able to receive their first jab within weeks.

However, there has been some concern among medical professionals in the UK that the uptake of Covid-19 vaccines will reduce as the rollout moves to younger age groups.

When asked if there were any concerns about uptake among young Islanders, a government spokesperson said: ‘While we are not complacent, we are encouraged that young people appear to be keen to be vaccinated. Recent figures also show a high uptake in people in their 40s.’

However, they said that long Covid – which is when the effects of Covid-19 continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness – appeared to be more common in young people and could become a ‘significant problem’.

‘Although illness is more severe in the elderly and in high or moderate risk individuals, young healthy people can still experience significant illness,’ they said.

‘Maximising population-wide immunity will help reduce [the] infection rate and protect vulnerable individuals – even if immunised. This therefore reduces the need for restrictive measures which affect all of us including the young.’

As of last Sunday, a total of 82,738 doses had been administered in Jersey, including 30,333 second doses.

‘Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a Covid-19 vaccine also helps keep you from getting seriously ill, even if you do get Covid-19,’ said the spokesperson. ‘The virus can have serious, life-threatening complications. If people become unwell they could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around them. Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19.’

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