New NHS campaign aims to increase COVID-19 vaccine take up amongst under 30’s in Newcastle

Latest figures reveal that 35% of 18-29 year-olds in Newcastle are currently unvaccinated – equivalent to around 27,934 individuals – prompting a new regional campaign to encourage take up.

Despite many restrictions being eased nationwide, Covid-19 is still circulating in local communities, putting many unvaccinated people at risk. As we learn to live alongside the virus, ensuring as many individuals as possible have their full course of vaccinations is vital to help reduce the risk of serious health issues as a result of coronavirus.

The campaign – which reassures people that it’s OK to have a change of heart about getting the Covid-19 vaccine – was commissioned by the Integrated COVID Hub North East, working with the regional vaccination programme. It is backed by Directors of Public Health across the region, including Eugene Milne from Newcastle City Council.

You can download the campaign video here: https://bit.ly/3HAukdu

A Change of Heart is based on what north easterners, aged between 18-29 years-old, say is important to them about the vaccination. It addresses their concerns and provides reassurance that it’s never too late to change your mind and get vaccinated, whether that’s your first, second or booster jab.

Neil Watson is the Chief Operating Officer for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in the North East and North Cumbria. He said; “Many people – of all ages – have legitimate worries about being vaccinated and that is normal. Whether it’s concerns about what they’ve read on social media, how the vaccine will make them feel or realising many countries won’t allow you to travel there without being vaccinated, there are many and varied reasons.

“The decision to get vaccinated is personal, but we want people to know that it’s ok to have a change of heart, to change their mind. My advice is to read the information on the NHS website, to talk to your GP or pharmacist, to friends, family and colleagues you trust and when you’re ready, we’re here for you.”

People should check the NHS website or their local council website for more information on dates and times for vaccination clinics in their area.

Dr Stephen Singleton from the Integrated Covid Hub North East said: “A full course of vaccination – that’s three jabs – offers very good protection from Covid-19, including the Omicron variant which has led to record levels of cases.

“Being vaccinated reduces the chance of serious illness in every age group, and helps reduce transmission of the virus. 

“It also protects the NHS, as people who are unvaccinated are far more likely to be admitted to hospital if they become seriously ill with Covid.”

Emily aged 26, is a vaccine lead who works in Newcastle. Speaking about the campaign, she said; “There are many reasons why young people my age may not yet have had the vaccine. It’s totally natural and we’re not here to judge – it’s about making an informed decision that’s right for you.

“We have lots of very nervous young people come to the vaccination hub and we’re here to answer their questions. Very few seem to regret the decision once it’s been taken. I’d encourage people to talk to others they know and trust, chat to healthcare professionals, and when the time is right, we’re here to help.” Local pop-up vaccine clinics and busses are listed here:
https://coronavirus.newcastle-hospitals.nhs.uk/where-you-can-drop-in-and-get-your-covid-19-vaccination/

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