It’s OK to have a change of heart about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, is the message of a new regional campaign.
The campaign, commissioned by the Integrated COVID Hub North East working with the regional vaccination programme, is also backed by Directors of Public Health across the region.
Nearly a quarter of 18-29 year-olds (23.15%) in the region are currently unvaccinated according to latest figures from the NHS vaccination programme (at 1 Feb 2022). This is equivalent to around 106,000 individuals, making it the age group with the highest proportion of unvaccinated adults.
A Change of Heart campaign is based on research and insights from north east residents, aged between 18-29 years-old, highlighting what is important to them in relation to 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 the effects of the vaccine on their body, worries about what they’ve read on social media, 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.”
There are many walk-in vaccination locations across the region. People should check the NHS website or their local council website for more information on dates and times 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. “We’ve worked with our partners to make vaccines as easy as possible to access and we’ve seen that convenient locations, such as city centres, are popular.”
A new vaccination pop-up is based at the former Travel Shop in Haymarket Metro station on Tuesdays and Thursdays until the end of March, from 9am-7pm. It offers first, second and booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for over-16s. There is no need to book an appointment, simply walk in. Please bring your NHS number, if possible.