Northumberland leading the way for age 16-24 Covid vaccine uptake in England
Young people in Northumberland are being praised for leading the way in the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Latest Government data shows that the rate of uptake for both doses of the vaccine amongst those aged 16 to 24 is higher in Northumberland than anywhere else in England.
The data shows that 79.7% of 18 to 24-year-olds have received the first dose of the vaccine compared to the England average of 65.5% and 63.8% of this age group has come forward for their second dose compared to the England average of 48.9%.
Similarly, 64.4% of 16 to 17-year-olds have come forward for their vaccine since August 15, compared to the England average of 51.3%.
According to guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI), only those clinically vulnerable between the ages of 16 and 17 will receive two doses.
The vaccine rollout in Northumberland has been a success since the start of the programme in December 2020 and now the county is boasting some of the best protected people thanks to the collaborative efforts of local NHS teams, general practice, community pharmacies, partners, volunteers and the introduction of the Roving Vaccine Unit which has taken the vaccines out into hard-to-reach areas including rural communities, homeless shelters, workplaces and popular events such as the Northumberland Pride Festival.
Richard Hay, head of planning and operations for Northumberland CCG said: "We are immensely proud of the responsibility and compassion displayed by our young people in the county for coming forward, doing their bit and getting these life-saving vaccines to protect themselves and their communities.
“The past year and a half has been incredibly tough for everyone and especially for our younger generation, many of whom have missed out on key milestones in their lives and had so much disruption to things like their education at school and university, making the first step on their career journey and being able to spend quality time making life-long friendships and relationships.
He continued: “There has been lots of comment nationally of young people being hesitant to come forward for the vaccine and that is just not the case here in Northumberland.
"They are a credit to our county and we are very proud of them for coming forward to protect not only themselves, but also those most vulnerable members of our local communities as we head into what is likely to be a very challenging winter period for health and care services.”
Jake Waugh, from Morpeth, said: “I feel really privileged to be offered the Covid-19 vaccine. I play guitar in a local band, so it’s been really good to get back to playing live and feeling the atmosphere of the crowd again.
“Northumberland has some fantastic festivals and I’ve been able to get back to them this year since having the vaccine. It’s quick and easy especially since you can just pop in and get it now. It’s really put my mind at ease that I’m protecting people – especially my friends and family.”