People over the age of 18 are being urged by NHS officials to get their vaccine ‘as soon as possible’, despite an apparent fall in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19.
As it stands, seven in 10 people aged 18 and over have been double vaccinated and eight in 10 have had a single shot, according to an NHS England update published on the website on Sunday (25 July).
Public Health England figures from across the UK show the number of positive cases has fallen significantly since a recent peak on 17 July, which suggests that the vaccines are working at reducing the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, the number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 in England is up this week by 33% from the previous week, NHS data has shown.
Alongside the update, health leaders still urged anyone who has not yet got their jab, particularly young people, to come forward and take up the offer.
This comes as new research, first reported in Management in Practice, found that almost one in five people under 25 do not intend to have the Covid vaccine.
The findings of two behavioural studies among more than 2,600 under 25s revealed that 17.7% of participants will decline to be vaccinated – a fall of 3% since March.
Some reasons young people listed for why they did not want to be vaccinated included scepticism about how quickly the Covid vaccine was developed and tested; worry over the potential long-term side effects; and concern about the risk of vaccination in pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Dr Nikki Kanani, a GP and NHS medical director for primary care, thanked the NHS for their ‘tireless efforts’ in vaccinating the country and pressed for more young people to come forward for their vaccine.
She said: ‘As we see a rise in Covid cases in the community once again, there has never been a more important time to get yourself protected: it remains the best way to protect yourself, your friends and your family, so particularly young people who are yet to come forward, this is the single most important thing you can do this weekend.
‘The NHS has delivered 70 million doses across England in just over seven months, giving protection against coronavirus to more than 39 million people and saving thousands of lives from this deadly disease,’ she added.