The recent drop in COVID-19 cases across London, and the rest of the UK, is welcome news for all of us.
But, just because infection rates are dropping, it doesn’t mean that we’re out of the woods yet. Far more people are still seriously ill in hospital with COVID-19 than this time last summer.
“One of the biggest risks at present is complacency,” says Merton’s lead nurse, Fiona White who has delivered thousands of life-saving jabs in the borough over the past six months. “After a big initial rush by young people to get vaccinated, we’ve seen a definite drop off in recent weeks.
“This is particularly worrying at a time when restrictions on socialising have been loosened and young people are mixing more. There is a common misconception that young people don’t get COVID-19, or that if they do, it is harmless. In fact, an increasing number of younger people are being admitted to hospital and, tragically, some of them are dying.”
Vaccination is key to protecting yourself from COVID-19, Fiona says. It’s quick, relatively painless and being fully jabbed dramatically reduces your chances of being hospitalised. Vaccination also gives you greater protection from long COVID, a long-term debilitating condition which has affected many young people.
Once you’ve had your jab, your vaccination status can be shown on the NHS COVID Pass via the NHS App. You may be asked to show your pass to travel abroad or at events and venues in England, which ask for proof of your COVID-19 status. Find out more about the NHS COVID Pass here.
If you’re a young person and you’re still uncertain about getting your jab – or you know someone who is – just take a moment to listen to Ryan Jones. A newly-qualified teacher, Ryan is passionate about vaccination.
“We’ve all got to do our bit for society and make sure we’re looking after vulnerable people,” he says. “Please be like me and come down and have your vaccination.” Click here to watch Ryan’s video.
With lots of vaccination centres in Merton and within easy reach – see our list here – why not take the plunge today and go and get jabbed?
Listen to Fiona and Ryan – and let’s get jabbed to protect ourselves and others!
If you are unsure about having your vaccine, just ask at any vaccination clinic. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and there’s no pressure on you.