I’d prefer to have conversations, not give intubations | #TeamBartsHealth blogs

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I’d prefer to have conversations, not give intubations

Martin Patrick Griffiths discusses the importance of younger people being educated about Covid-19 vaccines and understanding that they are still at risk of Covid-19 despite their age.

“In the last few months, whenever I speak to younger people about Covid-19 vaccines, I constantly hear: ‘Why should I get it, I’m not at risk from Covid-19’; ‘It’s not for me, I’m not going to get it’; ‘I don’t trust that it was made so quickly’; ‘It’s got loads of weird ingredients in it’.

“It’s understandable that people have concerns about getting any vaccine, especially a new one. But if we look at each of these statements that younger people so regularly say, we see there’s not much evidence to support them.

“Younger people think they’re not at risk of Covid-19. This isn’t true. They can catch Covid-19 as easily as an older person. We do know that many younger people aren’t  as at much of a risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 compared to older people. But that doesn’t mean they won’t get ill or need hospitalisation if they catch the disease. In fact, right now, the majority of patients in our intensive care units are younger, unvaccinated people.

“We also know that many younger people who do get ill with Covid-19 experience long-Covid, where they feel unwell for long periods of time. It’s not pleasant.

“As for the vaccines being made ‘too quickly’ – this isn’t the case. There’s been lots of research done into viruses like Covid-19 for years, so the scientists were starting from a good base. And, this pandemic has brought the whole global research community together to work on something, which means it got developed quickly. All Covid-19 vaccines available have been properly tested and are safe to have.  And none of them contain microchips, luminous dye or any other ‘weird’ ingredients.

“I also hear from a lot of younger women that they are frightened to get the vaccine because they think it will affect their fertility. It won’t. There is no evidence at all that these vaccines affect fertility in women or men.

“We’ve also got to think about our communities, our families, our friends – particularly those who are vulnerable in these groups. Older people are still at risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 and so are younger people with underlying health conditions. But you can help them by getting your vaccine which will help stop the spread of the virus and stop people becoming seriously ill with the disease.

“No one has enjoyed this last 18 months – in particular going in and out of lockdown. This isn’t something any of us want to go through again. On top of this, we all want to get back to doing the things we love – like going on holidays without having to quarantine! Vaccines will help us do this.

“I can’t force anyone to get a vaccine and I wouldn’t want to. Everyone should be able to make up their own minds and make a decision for themselves about whether to get one or not.

“What I will say is, Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere and getting both doses of vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and those you love.

“If you’re unsure about getting a Covid-19 vaccine and want to find out more information about them, please read accurate, trust worthy information, like that provided by the NHS. Not information from your friend’s uncle’s, aunt’s, sister’s, brother on social media.

“The NHS is here to help you and have conversations with you about the vaccines. We’re here to address your concerns.

“Personally, I’d rather talk to younger people than treat them in the intensive care unit. I’d prefer to have conversations, not give intubations.”

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