By Angelos Christodoulou
Most young people between the ages of 16 to 25 have a positive opinion on vaccination, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.
Many students in Sheffield have felt the need to get vaccinated after being forced into online learning last year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Some students felt that they needed more face-to-face learning in order to finish their degrees.
Sheffield Hallam University student Shoaib Ramzan, 23, is in his final year of his degree. Shoaib spent the majority of last year working at home on his degree through video classes.
“Covid really messed up my year, it was difficult not being able to come into uni and felt like a waste of time sometimes paying all that money for something online.
“I think it’s really important to get vaccinated to stay safe and secure. I’m double vaccinated and so is all my family, my brother gets sick really easily because he has a weak immune system. That’s why I feel like I have to keep him safe.
“I understand why people wouldn’t want to get vaccinated and where they are coming from to an extent, but I feel like people need to be vaccinated for the benefit of everyone, so everyone can keep healthy and move forward.”
Regarding the statistics, the 16-17-year-old age group data set had the largest number of people likely to have the vaccine if they were offered, although the first dose of the vaccine was only made available to the majority of that age range on August 23 2021.
The data shows the overwhelming majority of young people opting in to having the vaccine, with the highest amount being amongst 22-25-year-olds, with 78% vaccinated. However, there are still people who have declined or are unlikely to be vaccinated, with the highest being in 16-17-year-olds with 89% for the vaccine, and 11% against it.
Andrew Marshall, 20, who had just finished his second year at the University of Leeds, felt sceptical about the vaccine and its effects.
“I know Covid is a big issue, there’s no denying that- at first, I wasn’t sure about the vaccine because I felt as if it came out too quickly, almost like it was rushed. I heard that it takes more than a couple of months to make a vaccine safe to use.”
“Luckily I wasn’t too bad when I had my jabs, just a stiff arm and a bit of a rough morning. No blood clots thankfully.
“One of the reasons that pushed me to get vaccinated was the restrictions that might come later if I didn’t get both doses. I still want to go out and have a social life, not being able to see my friends and family would be tough.”
With Covid-19 still around and the Omicron variant spreading across the country, the Government has been pushing for more younger people to be vaccinated under the age of 16.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised the UK for 330,000 younger children with vulnerability to the virus to be given the vaccine.
Labour MP for Portsmouth South Stephen Morgan said the Government needed to act on the decision.
“With the Omicron variant spreading fast, there’s an urgent need to get these jabs into arms.”
JCVI experts had made the decision to expand the booster programme so that everyone would have a booster by January, in order to affect education as little as possible and in order to safeguard the vulnerable.