Northumberland GP urges under 30s to 'ignore the doubters' and get their Covid vaccine
A Northumberland doctor has appealed for young adults to get their Covid vaccine.
Dr Graham Syers, an Alnwick GP, acknowledged there had been vaccine take-up issues among 20 to 30-year-olds.
But he told them: “Get your vaccines – don’t believe the doubters. It’s what we need to do to protect ourselves, our elderly relatives and businesses.”
Speaking at an Alnwick Town Council meeting, he added: “There has obviously been a lot of worry about the AstraZeneca jab and there are some people who were given the first dose who are now saying they don’t want a second dose of it. Well that’s not based on any logic.
“If you haven’t had a jab and are still in doubt then get in touch.”
Dr Syers is also chairman of Northumberland Clinicial Commissioning Group and he admitted to concerns about a recent rise in Covid-19 rates.
“We are all on tenterhooks in health at the moment because rates are rising again,” he said.
“We are fairly confident because we have done really well in Northumberland with our vaccination rates.
“We have got through the high risk groups and at the moment are working down the 30 to 20-year-olds who are getting their first vaccines now.
“There is a bit of anxiety that age group is a bit more sceptical about vaccination so we’re having to work quite hard to get people in.
"The demand and supply of the vaccines can be a bit unpredictable so there is work going on at the minute to ask that age cohort how likely it is that they are going to get a vaccine. Then we know what we need to order so we don’t waste them as those vaccines can go and help another bit of Northumberland.”
He said the vaccination programme ‘has been a real logistical headache’ and that will continue to be the case for some time to come.
“Unfortunately we have got some of this new Delta variant starting to creep in in Northumberland now,” he said.
"We believe that it responds to the vaccine in the same way in that people are protected but it might spread a bit more easily and it might have implications on people having to isolate due to contact which will slow down our economy.”
He said Alnwick Medical Group continues to be ‘super busy’ as it combines Covid vaccination work with catching up on the backlog of the past 16 months.
Winter planning is underway but guidance is awaited on how flu and top-up Covid vaccines will be given.
However, he admitted there had been an increase in the number of children presenting with coughs and colds.
"We are now seeing quite a lot of respiratory tract infections in kids now they are mixing again,” he said.
There had also been an increase in patients with anxiety and depression.
“There has been a big rise in demand, in A&E as well as GP practices, and I believe it’s because there a lot of people out there who are not very happy with life," he said.
"They’ve either not been able to work, have been isolating or have suffered a bereavement of have had Covid. There are lots of people finding life more difficult and therefore their health needs change and that’s what is driving demand.”