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New NHS Campaign aims to increase Covid-19 vaccine take up amongst under-30s in County Durham

Published March 17, 2022 2.49pm

Figures show that 25 per cent of 18 to 29-year-olds in County Durham are currently unvaccinated - equivalent to around 21,432 individuals - prompting a new regional campaign to encourage take up.


Nadia, 23, works as a pharmacist in County Durham

Despite many restrictions being eased nationwide, covid-19 is still circulating in local communities, putting many unvaccinated people at risk. As we learn to live with the virus, ensuring as many individuals as possible have their full course of vaccinations is vital in helping to reduce the risk of serious health issues as a result of covid-19.

A new NHS campaign - which reassures people that it's ok to have a change of heart about getting the Covid-19 vaccine - was commissioned by the Integrated Covid-19 Hub North East, working with the regional vaccination programme. It is backed by health chiefs across the region, including Amanda Healy our Director of Public Health for County Durham.

Change of Heart

A Change of Heart is based on what north easterners, aged between 18 and 29 years-old, say is important to them about the vaccination. It addresses their concerns and provides reassurance that it's never too late to change your mind and get vaccinated, whether that's your first, second or booster jab.

Neil Watson, Chief Operating Officer for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in the north east and North Cumbria, said; "Many people - of all ages - have legitimate worries about being vaccinated and that is normal. Whether it's concerns about what they've read on social media, how the vaccine will make them feel or realising many countries won't allow you to travel there without being vaccinated, there are many and varied reasons.

"The decision to get vaccinated is personal, but we want people to know that it's ok to have a change of heart, to change their mind. My advice is to read the information on the NHS website, to talk to your GP or pharmacist, to friends, family and colleagues you trust and when you're ready, we're here for you."

Protection against covid-19

Amanda Healy, director of public health, said: "It is not too late to get your covid-19 jabs if you are yet to begin a course of vaccination. Every vaccination helps build your level of protection against the virus, as well as the protection of others within your community. So, whether you still need your first jab or a second or booster dose, it is ok to decide to come forward and get vaccinated. There is lots of information available via the NHS, your GP and public health to answer any questions if you are still unsure about what to do."

Find out about how to get Covid-19 vaccinations in County Durham.

Informed decision

Nadia aged 23 is a pharmacist working in County Durham. Speaking about the campaign, she said: "There are many reasons why people my age may not have had the vaccine. It's totally natural and we're not here to judge - it's about making an informed decision that's right for you.

"We have lots of very nervous young people come to the vaccination hub and we're here to answer their questions. Very few seem to regret the decision once it's been taken. I'd encourage people to talk to others they know and trust, chat to healthcare professionals, and when the time is right, we're here to help."

Watch the Change of Heart campaign video at Change of Heart video or view the  Icon for pdf Change of Heart video transcript (PDF, 77.6kb) .


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