'It makes me feel more confident' - Young people on Covid vaccine roll-out

16-year-old Poppy Dawson, from Norwich, shares her views on the COVID vaccination. Picture: Danielle

16-year-old Poppy Dawson, from Norwich, shares her views on the COVID vaccination. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

As the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine reaches its later stages, the age group that has been left to wait to longest is the under 18s.

With jabs now available to all those older than the age of 18, community reporter Sophie Skying has spoken to some of those still waiting to be called.

Lots of us have received or at least been offered our first round of Covid vaccinations.

In recent weeks we have seen 18-year-olds offered the vaccine, but what about the people yet to reach that age group? 

The syringe is filled with the Covid-19 vaccine at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Pict

The syringe is filled with the Covid-19 vaccine at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Sixteen-year-old Poppy Dawson from Norwich is yet to receive her vaccine. She said “I completely understand why young people haven’t had It yet, rolling it out is a big process, they are making their way towards everyone getting it. I think that’s really good, but when I am offered it, I will absolutely take it.” 

"Taking the vaccine is important because, although we are less at risk than most, we need it in order to protect other vulnerable people - it is really integral and something everyone should want to do.” 

16-year-old Poppy Dawson, from Norwich, shares her views on the COVID vaccination. Picture: Danielle

16-year-old Poppy Dawson, from Norwich, shares her views on the COVID vaccination. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

 “I understand people are unsure, Astra Zeneca seems to give young people a worse reaction, but I think there should be more research and then we can make people more aware of the likelihood of experiencing side effects.” 

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“It makes me feel more confident that other people around me have had it, but people have still suffered with Covid even after the vaccine so we need to stay vigilant.”  

“I think the pandemic has been hard on young people. Lots of us have had to study at home, schools have tried to make it as easy as possible."

"Learning online wasn’t too bad, the second lockdown I had a lot of Zoom lessons and it got a bit strenuous having to be on it all the time, but the teachers made an effort, and luckily I don’t feel that my learning was held back.” 

The Covid-19 vaccination at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Covid-19 vaccination at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

With the easing of restrictions and a light at the end of the tunnel Poppy is looking onward and is due to start her A Levels at Notre Dame in September.

She said: “I’m doing physics, maths, further maths and economics. In my future I'd love to do aerospace engineering.” 

Mille-Mario Nicol, a 12-year-old from Norwich who attends Flegg High School said she was comfortable with where her age group sat in the roll-out.

She said: “I feel if you are a young person with underlying health you should be offered it, but if you don’t, then you should be offered it last.”

12 year old Millie Marie Nicol with Younger Brother Jimmy

12 year old Millie-Marie Nicol pictured with younger brother Jimmy - Credit: Donna Marie Nicol

She spoke about how she thinks everybody should have it and added: “Do you want Covid to last forever and for us to live like this for the rest of our lives? I don’t think so.” 

Some young people, however, were invited to have their vaccine early, including Aimee Mathison, a 17-year-old from Great Hockham.

Aimee has had both Covid-19 vaccines, receiving her first one in February and second in May of this year due to immunity issues when she was very little. 

News that a coronavirus vaccine is imminent is reason to be optimistic rather than pessimistic, says

Professor Sarah Gilbert, a graduate of the UEA, has overseen the development of an effective coronavirus vaccine - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

She said: "I feel relieved to have had my vaccines not only as an additional safety precaution for myself, but largely for the protection of others, especially working in such a large sixth form community on a daily basis."

She said she had no hesitations in accepting her vaccine and that its protection for her loved ones made it worth it.

And she said she felt reporting of the crisis had been "detrimental" to the opinions of young people.

"Despite this, it did not deter me from getting my vaccine. In fact, I think young people should be highly encouraged to receive theirs," she said.

aimee mathison 17 has had her covid vaccines

17 year old Aimee Mathison has received both her covid vaccines. - Credit: Aimee Mathison

"I had the Pfizer vaccine and found it did not hurt as I had made it out to be in my head, ruled by the tension and experiences from others. But I only got an achy arm."

She added: "Going into summer I think young people should have the vaccines, keeping us safe whilst restoring our lost freedoms to go out and have fun. It's not just looking after yourself but helping to protect others ."

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