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Young people – get jabbed!

NHS Sheffield is encouraging all young people to get double jabbed this summer. If you're still on the fence, read on.

covid-19 vaccine centre
Macau Photo Agency

At this point it might seem obvious, but it is worth repeating: Covid hasn’t gone away and it will be a threat to our collective health for some time.

Cases are still high, but deaths and hospitalisations in the UK have been greatly reduced by one key factor – the vaccine.

As of 2 August, 62% of people in Sheffield have had both their vaccine injections. The message from health leaders and medical professionals to anyone who hasn’t is very clear: get jabbed as soon as you can and don’t forget your second dose.

Working with NHS Sheffield, we’ve brought together some important background detail about the case in favour of getting the vaccine, for younger people and those who are still on the fence.

The vaccine is safe

Some people experience side effects from getting jabbed, but billions of people have received vaccines across the globe and the risks of vaccination are far outweighed by the benefits. None of the vaccines are ‘experimental’ and no corners have been cut to produce them.

Full, longer-term protection from the virus starts to kick in around 1-2 weeks after getting a second jab, which should be at least eight weeks after the first. If you skip your second jab you risk getting complications of Covid if you catch it.

The recent death of a 42-year-old “fitness enthusiast” from Southport prompted his family to warn people “not to think they are invulnerable to the dangers of the virus” – whatever their age or level of fitness.

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You can go out without restriction

With Tramlines only just disappearing in the rear view mirror, gig goers in the city are starting to rediscover their love of live performance. But some UK venue owners have noted that punters aren’t returning at the levels they expected, perhaps due to concerns about infection rates.

Although it might feel like it, things aren’t ‘back to normal’. The loosening of all restrictions this summer might not be permanent and if rates continue to rise in autumn some rules might be reimposed.

For example, although it’s not yet been confirmed by central government, it may be the case that venues and clubs will require people to be double jabbed as a condition of entry from September.

It is also looking increasingly likely that only people who have been double jabbed will be able to travel abroad freely. Speaking about travel restrictions, one minister said recently that “[proof of] full vaccination is going to be a feature for evermore.”

It greatly reduces the chances of getting Long Covid

Long Covid is a very real issue for people of all ages and could be one of the major ‘legacy’ effects of the pandemic.

The CCG estimates that more than 10,000 people in Sheffield already have Long Covid, also known as post-Covid-19 fatigue syndrome, including many young and otherwise healthy people. A third of people with Long Covid experience symptoms for more than six months and nearly a quarter are unable to work because of it.

It’s not common knowledge, but there are actually more than 200 symptoms of Long Covid, affecting ten of the body’s organ systems. Some of the most common include fatigue, ‘brain fog’ and a high temperature, all of which are made worse after exercise, stress or mental exertion.

Since it was launched, there have been claims made online that Covid vaccines can cause infertility. Various studies have found vaccines have no negative effects in this department – and actually that Covid itself is a threat to fertility.

Among the 200+ symptoms of Long Covid are a shrinking penis and testicles, while a recent Italian study found links between coronavirus infection and erectile dysfunction. As the CCG puts it, one small prick can significantly reduce your risk of ending up with one small prick.

Darnall primary care centre

It’s easy to get jabbed

You can book your first and second jabs online quickly and easily, with lots of choice of venues and the ability to reschedule appointments if you need to.

If you’re short on time or need flexibility, there are walk-in clinics and pop-up vaccination centres across the city. All vaccine sites are family-friendly.

If you’re not registered with a GP you can still get the vaccine through a walk-in appointment at Darnall Primary Care Centre or the Longley Lane site near the Northern General Hospital. Some slots are available ‘out of hours’.

Whatever you do, take it steady

The key message coming from Greg Fell, Sheffield’s Director of Public Health, since 19 July has been “take it steady”.

While measures like face masks and checking in at venues are no long legal requirements, they make a huge difference to how safe we are in Sheffield.

And just like the vaccine, these measures aren’t just about our own health – they’re about the health of everyone around us.

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