Health leaders say it is a “race against time” to get young people vaccinated before the end of the summer holidays.

A vial of the COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: DoD/Lisa Ferdinando

Those aged 16 and over are now eligible for their coronavirus jabs.

And with schools, colleges and universities due to return in the coming weeks, health chiefs in Staffordshire say it is crucial young people have their jab before they go back into education.

Cllr Johnny McMahon, Staffordshire County Council cabinet support member for public health, said:

“Getting vaccinated needs to be at the top of young people’s back-to-school list. 

“I urge those who haven’t yet been vaccinated to get their jabs without delay, and I appeal to their parents to encourage them. The right time to get the jab is right now.

“Autumn is just around the corner and cases are already starting to rise again. We can limit a possible surge in cases through the actions we all take right now. First and foremost, this means getting vaccinated.

“The vaccines have all proven to be safe and highly effective, and it’s never been easier to get your jabs.”

Cllr Johnny McMahon, Staffordshire County Council

Everyone aged 18 and over can book their vaccine via the NHS national booking system or by calling 119. Sixteen and 17-year-olds have been contacted directly by the NHS to get their vaccination.

Some walk-ins are also offering vaccines to those aged 16 and 17. Details of all the latest clinics are available on the Together We’re Better website.

Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s director for health and care, added:

“Young people are not resistant to this virus – they can still get Covid and long Covid, when symptoms of the disease persist for an extended period.

“The latest figures for England show people aged 18 to 34 now make up more than a fifth of those admitted to hospital with the virus, four times higher than at the peak last winter – and most of those are unvaccinated.

“Young people can make sure they’re protected by getting their jabs.”

Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council

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