Will Norwich's children have the jab?

Donna Nicol and Millie-Marie Nicol (inset) have different views on the Covid vaccine

Donna Nicol and Millie-Marie Nicol (inset) have different views on the Covid vaccine - Credit: Getty/Submitted

Vaccines have become a global obsession - and for good reason.  

And now the city's young people aged 12-15 are being invited to have a single dose of the jab.

But just like every aspect of the vaccine rollout the decision is proving controversial. Some believe the government is making a political decision rather than a health one. 

During a parliamentary debate earlier this week some backbench MPs claimed children were being jabbed not for their own safety but for that of the older generation.

And ultimately the decision will be the child's - parents will not be able to force their children to have the vaccine.  

Millie-Marie Nicol, 12, from Norwich who attends Flegg High School said “I am keen to have the vaccine because I don’t want this to go on forever.” 

Her mother, Donna, added “To be honest I’m not overly thrilled about the idea of her having it as I'm not sure what the side effects in children are.  

Donna Nicol and Millie-Marie Nicol, 12 have differing opinions on the vaccine. 

Donna Nicol and Millie-Marie Nicol, 12 have differing opinions on the vaccine. - Credit: Donna Nicol

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“Especially in girls with regards to effecting menstrual cycle and fertility, I just feel like I need more time to research.” 

Kayleigh Baker, from Marlpit, feels fortunate that her daughter Aria who is almost 12 has not yet mentioned the vaccine.  

“I am not too keen on her having it until there is more research if I am completely honest.” 

She explained that she is not comfortable with her daughter being used as a "guinea pig" while she is still unsure of the side effects.  

The reason Kayleigh says she is wary of Aria having the vaccine is because, upon getting her second dose of the vaccine, she was left very unwell for the following 24 hours. 

Aria and Kayleigh Baker 

Aria and Kayleigh Baker - Credit: Sonya Duncan

“She is a healthy child; I don’t want to risk side effects before I know all the information.” 

But Kirk Wills, from Norwich, has taken a different approach. He has opted to share all the information available to him with his daughter Maisie Fletcher, 12.  

He has given her the relevant information and left it up to her to choose whether she wants go ahead with getting vaccinated.  

“We have made the decision to tell her everything that we know about it good and bad," he said.  

“Of course, I would like her to have it, I want her to be part of the solution not the problem, but I want her to feel she can make the choice.” 

Kirk talked about how he thinks that when looking into all the research, he feels the pros of getting it far outweigh the cons.  

Maisie said: “I am happy to have the vaccine, I want life to get back to normal as soon as possible.” 

Nina Green did a lot of research and has encouraged her children to get it.  

Maise Fletcher, 12 and Kirk wills from Norwich. 

Maisie Fletcher, 12 and Kirk wills from Norwich. - Credit: Kirk Wills

“I know it’s a personal choice for everyone," she said. “Personally, I want my children to have it and I have encouraged it.” 

Her youngest son, Devon Green, 12, has been a little more apprehensive due to hearing the talks of side effects on the news.   

“We talked it through, looking at the data and putting things in perspective.  

“We also talked about vaccines that have helped to manage other illnesses in the past, such as polio and meningitis.” 

She added: “It is also reassuring for them knowing I have had it, along with all the adult members of our wider family.” 

Korben White, 15 from Dickleburgh, has made his mind up. 

He said: “I am happy to have the Covid jab because I will feel safer and it is the next step in bringing back normality, or what we considered to be normality pre-Covid.” 

Devon White added: “I am nervous about it but I know it’s for the best.” 

If you are a young person who has a story to tell or would be interested in having your voice heard in the paper, please contact Sophie Skyring via sophie.skyring@archant.co.uk