Weston College students offered Covid vaccine as West Country infections rise

  • Watch Rob Murphy's report

Eighteen-year-olds are being offered Coronavirus jabs as infections in the West Country continue to rise.

The latest information shows Bristol's rates are now around 50 per cent above the national average.

Today, Weston College arranged for 300 of its students to have their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.Fabiha Siddique, an 18-year-old A-Level student told ITV News West Country: "I've been wanting to have a jab for a while, because I've had to wait. But now I've had it, I'm glad I've got it."

The Government calls 18+ patients 'Cohort 12.' Health professionals say it's vital that this age group is vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Andi Mackenzie, Lead Nurse at Riverbank Vaccination Centre in Weston-super-Mare, said: "This is the cohort that's keeping the economy going, the ones that want to start going out again, seeing friends and having a drink together.

"Without getting that vaccination roll-out going I don't think lockdown is going to end that quickly."

Health experts say younger people do seem more sceptical of the vaccine.

Marion Snelling, the Lead Nurse for Pier Health Group in Weston-super-Mare said: "Young women in particular are worried they're going to be sterile.

"There is no evidence of that from the vaccine, we know there is evidence that some women can have a slightly irregular period for a few months, and hopefully that will go back to normal.

"Muscle aches are mentioned too. We get muscle aches from all sorts of things.

"They worry about putting something foreign into their bodies. The trend these days is for women to put botox into their lips. Or fillers. Why not put something in that will benefit their health?'"

Overall, take-up rates of the vaccines are higher in the West Country than the national average.

A walk-in centre for 18+ vaccination patients will be held at the Winter gardens Pavilion in Weston-super-Mare on Thursday.

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