The vaccine take-up so far has been a success amongst young people in the UK, but there is still a small but significant way to go.
There are many reasons why young people should want to become vaccinated, other than protecting others. When more people are vaccinated, there is less opportunity for the virus to spread. It means that schools and universities are safer and less likely to move online, travel options remain accessible, and clubs and pubs can remain open.
The realisation that a return to previously normal routines and fun days out is within reach, means that attitudes amongst young people are changing. By mid-September forty-six percent of previously hesitant 18 to 29-year-olds had been vaccinated.
As of late November, in Northamptonshire over sixty-nine percent of 18 to 24-year-olds were double vaccinated. Among the 16 to 17 age band, sixty-eight percent were vaccinated.
Since schools reopened in the autumn, the majority of Covid cases have been among school- aged children, causing disruption to learning and to families. It has been reported that most of the cases among those in their forties were in parents having breakthrough infections. Vaccines for younger pupils were made available in late October, and by late November, forty-one percent aged 12-15 had been vaccinated in Northamptonshire.
They still have a way to go to meet the take-up among the older age bands, where more than ninety-three percent of those above 50 years of age have been vaccinated in Northamptonshire.
The benefits of getting the vaccine are clear; the vaccines are ninety-six percent effective at reducing Covid deaths. Unvaccinated people in England are 32 times more likely to die of Covid-19 than their vaccinated counterparts.
The jabs are not currently compulsory and likely will not become so, however people are strongly urged to get them in order to protect their friends, family, and communities.