'Don't ask Google, ask a doctor' experts' tell Northamptonshire teens in two minds about Covid jabs
Health chiefs' plea to steer clear of misinformation and conspiracy theories online
Teenagers in two minds over getting a Covid jab are being told to talk to health professionals in Northamptonshire rather than turn to Google.
All 16 and 17-year-olds can now book vaccinations on the NHS website as well as drop in at a number of walk-in clinics across the county.
Doctors admit there are still many with concerns over having the vaccine after news this week that fewer than half of players at most Premier League and English Football League clubs are jabbed.
Some members of Gareth Southgate's England squad are also reported to have refused jabs.
More than 540,000 people have had at least one jab in Northamptonshire, around 80 percent of all those aged 16 and over in the county.
Of the remaining 20 percent, some people chose not to be vaccinated citing a number of factors including their lack of confidence in the vaccine, concerns about side-effects, or a fear of needles.
Others opt out of vaccination because of their consumption of misinformation and conspiracy theories online, particularly on social media.
Anna Dorothy, deputy director of the Northamptonshire Vaccination Programme, said: “If you are in two minds, then please seek the advice of a healthcare professional who will be able to listen to your concerns, answer questions and help you reach an informed decision.
"Please don’t wait. If you are eligible and unvaccinated you are potentially putting yourself, loved ones and your communities at risk.
“If you are hesitant or you simply haven’t had time to get your vaccine, I would strongly urge you to get protected against Covid-19 as soon as you possibly can.
"It’s easier than ever to get your vaccine now that everyone over 16 can either book appointments or visit a local drop-in centre at their convenience. There are plenty of appointments available.
“The drop-in vaccination clinics have played a huge part in enabling us to successfully vaccinate over one million people* across Northamptonshire.
“Getting your jab is the best defence against Covid-19 and its variants, even if you’ve had the virus.
"Getting as many people in the county vaccinated against Covid-19 is our best path to recovery and a return to the freedoms we once enjoyed. Everyone deserves the protection of the vaccine.”
Government figures published daily have shown more than 4,600 people tested positive for coronavirus in Northamptonshire during the last week, including 759 announced on Wednesday (October 6).
Kettering, Daventry, Corby, Northampton and Wellingborough are all among the top 20 highest case rates among local authorities in England.
Hospital cases and deaths linked to the virus remain relatively low but the number of people being forced to self-isolate has led to staff shortages in some areas.
Information is available HERE on drop-in clinics in Northampton, Corby, Wellingborough and Towcester offering first and second doses at selected times.