Jack Rondel – son of the late Deputy Richard Rondel – was yesterday among the initial wave of 18- to 24-year-olds to receive their first dose after appointments for the vaccination programme’s final adult age-bracket started last week.
And the teenager, who plans to go to university in September to study politics, is calling for the rest of his generation who are eligible to follow suit.
He said: ‘I think that the majority of people my age – especially in the bracket between 18 and 20 years old – their mindset is that they are less at risk, and if they do get it, it is just a couple of weeks with a bit of a cough.
‘They are not really thinking about the older people, especially the people above the age of 65 who, despite being double vaccinated, are still at a partial risk from the virus.
‘It is crucial that everybody gets the vaccine if they are eligible for it, but I also think there’s a lot of people my age who lack the motivation to go and get it.’
Last week it was announced that more than 75% of adults in Jersey had received their first dose, with 59% now fully vaccinated.
Over 85% of Islanders over 30 have had one dose, 41% of 25- to 29-year-olds have received one dose and more than 83% of clinically vulnerable people aged 16 to 69 are fully vaccinated.
Mr Rondel is also urging parents to ‘influence and encourage’ their children to book their appointments as soon as possible, in the light of the recent increase in case numbers.
‘From what I can see, the vaccination programme is the only thing we have got at the moment to get us out of the pandemic, especially with the new variants occurring – and we have to believe there will be new variants to come as well. Now more than ever we need to push and get the vaccine,’ he said.
Mr Rondel added: ‘Jersey has done an incredible job with the vaccination programme, with the way that we have got through the age brackets compared to a lot of places who are very behind. But that does mean people aged 18 and upwards need to put in the effort to do that.
‘It is all very well having the nurses and volunteers putting in the effort at Fort Regent every day, but we need to put in the effort as well to help support the nurses and doctors so that they – and the Hospital – don’t become overwhelmed.’