Health boss urges under 30s to get vaccinated as 50% still not jabbed

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Fresh plea made to the under 30s to get vaccinated in Birmingham as more than half are yet to get jabbed

A Birmingham health boss has identified the reasons that she believes have led to a low uptake of Covid-19 vaccinations among the under 30s in Birmingham.

Cllr Pauletta Hamilton, city cabinet member for health and wellbeing in Birmingham, spoke out as latest figures show infections and hospitalisations continue to grow among this age group in the city.

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She urged people in their 20s and older teens to get vaccinated along with Tracy Nightingale, Lead Nurse for the vaccination programme in Birmingham and Solihull - and told of her own tragic experience of the virus.

According to recent data, more than half of under-30s in Birmingham have yet to receive a Covid-19 vaccine weeks after they were invited to get their first jab.

Government data on Covid vaccinations on 4 September, showed that 49% of 18 to 24-year-olds in Birmingham had received a Covid-19 vaccine, with just 47.9% of 25 to 29-year-olds having received the jab.

Cllr Hamilton said that she believes ‘mixed messages’ at the start of the vaccination rollout is one of the key reasons for this low uptake in Birmingham.

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Explaining that a lack of clarity about the impact of coronavirus on younger people has resulted in issues of trust across all communities in the city.

Under 30s across all communities affected by low vaccine take up

Cllr Pauletta Hamilton, city cabinet member for health and wellbeing in Birmingham, said: “I highlighted last year that there were many communities in Birmingham that would be very hesitant to take the vaccine, and the big issue at the time was trust.

“This isn’t just within the Asian, African and Caribbean communities, but also white communities.

“The main issue was that at the beginning of the rollout the message we were hearing was that this virus does not affect young people and that young people’s health would not suffer because of this virus.

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“So young people became more hesitant and felt that they needed more information and education, which is why as a city we have opened dozens of Covid-19 vaccination walk-in centres. As a council we don’t lead on the vaccine rollout, we have been working with the health service to get the correct messages out there.

“Unless we can persuade young people of the key messages that the vaccine will protect others as well as themselves and that it will reduce transmission, I am not confident they will take it as needed.

Cllr Hamilton’s friend’s niece died from coronavirus shortly after giving birth and never got the chance to meet her baby.

“With the last breath in my body I will encourage people that the vaccine is the way out, and although it might feel like we are free there are people still in hospital dying of this virus and we absolutely need people to take it seriously and go out and get the vaccine.”

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Cllr Paulette Hamilton, city cabinet member for health and wellbeing in Birmingham,Cllr Paulette Hamilton, city cabinet member for health and wellbeing in Birmingham,
Cllr Paulette Hamilton, city cabinet member for health and wellbeing in Birmingham, | yes

Under 30s are being admitted to intensive care

Doctors across the UK have said that increasing numbers of young people with coronavirus are being admitted to hospital – including to intensive care wards.

Tracy Nightingale, Lead Nurse for the vaccination programme in Birmingham and Solihull, urged younger people who might be hesitant to get the jab.

She said: “Infections and hospitalisations are rising rapidly in Birmingham and Solihull especially those who are yet to be vaccinated – and more younger people are being admitted to hospital.

“The message is really clear: getting the vaccination is more important than ever in Birmingham. Just because you are younger or have had Covid in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t be affected in the future, or that you won’t pass the virus on to someone more vulnerable.”

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