A new film with ‘Love Island’ contestant and medical student Priya Gopaldas aims to encourage uptake of the life-saving Covid-19 vaccine in youngsters across the UK.
In the video Q&A, the British Indian trainee doctor takes questions alongside TV doctor Emeka Okorocha from students as the pair underline that are the best way of preventing serious illness.
Gopaldas said: “This summer has already been so much better than last year - and I’m not just talking about my Love Island experience. We’ve been able to travel, go out with mates and finally go back to the places we love. No one wants to miss out on those upcoming special moments.
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“Halloween parties, proms, trips to the theatre, family gatherings. Getting the jab now means you won’t miss out on all the things that matter this autumn.”
The latest statistics show more than 123,000 lives have been saved, and 24 million infections and 230,000 hospitalisations have been prevented thanks to the vaccines.
The new campaign is aimed at addressing concerns around and side effects following new polling which suggests that these are the biggest drivers of vaccine hesitancy among this age group.
The research, from a survey of more than 2,000 16-17 year olds released last week, showed almost half (47 per cent) of 16-17 year olds surveyed agree that the main reason for getting the vaccine is to help protect their friends and family members. Almost four in five (79 per cent) of those who have had, booked or intend to book their vaccine also feel positive about it.
Dr Emeka, an emergency physician, also highlights how Covid-19 can affect anyone, regardless of their age.
He said: “It is brilliant to see how many people aged 16-17 have already come forward to protect themselves by getting a jab. It was great to join Priya to answer questions from students to reiterate the safety and effectiveness of the life-saving vaccines.
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“A lot of young people previously felt invincible to the virus, but as an A&E doctor working throughout the height of the pandemic, I saw my fair share of healthy young adults suffering badly from Covid-19.
“Vaccines not only protect you but they also mean you’re less likely to pass the virus on to elderly family members.
The 16 and 17 year old age group can book a vaccine appointment via their GP or by visiting their nearest walk-in centre.