Young people ask their burning questions about Covid-19 and vaccines

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Young people attended the Suffolk and North East Essex COVID-19 Vaccination Service 'Ask the Expert' webinar event to ask their Covid-19 questions - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

From concerns about long Covid to how students can book vaccines in other cities, young people logged on to ‘Ask the Expert’ about their burning Covid-19 vaccination questions.  

The Suffolk and North East Essex COVID-19 Vaccination Service held a live webinar for students and young people about Covid-19 and the vaccine.

These questions were then answered by healthcare professionals who work within Suffolk and North East Essex.   

Here is what young people wanted to know. 

How safe is the vaccine for young people?  

A representative for public health at Essex County Council told young people about the yellow card system – a government platform which allows anybody to report adverse effects from the Covid-19 vaccine.

He went on to say while it is unknown what the long-term effects of the vaccine are, general side effects will usually present themselves within days, weeks or months of the vaccine being given. 

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What do students do if they are registered with a GP in their hometown, but not where they study? 

Students over the age of 18 and registered with a GP practice can book through the National Booking Service at a convenient time for them.  

“There are lots and lots of vaccine sites popping up all over the North East Essex and Suffolk so there’s a lot of choice,” says Carolyn Richardson, GP partner for the University of Essex.  

Why are 16 and 17-year-olds only receiving one dose of the vaccine as opposed to two? 

Medical doctor, Fatima, who has worked for Public Health Suffolk explained that one vaccine offers some protection against Covid-19. While there is no guidance about a second dose at the moment, a young person may require more doses.  

She said: “12 to 18-year-olds could actually be eligible for three jabs depending on background and health condition.  

“If the government receives more evidence, then they might decide to give a second dose. It’s okay that it might be a few months apart."

Do international students need to be registered with a GP to get the vaccine? 

International students do not need an NHS number to get a Covid vaccine, says Dr Mark Shenton, a GP working in Suffolk. Those students can attend walk-ins to receive the vaccine. 

What is long Covid and what provisions locally are available for people who do experience long Covid? 

According to Dr Mark Shenton, long Covid occurs when symptoms persist for more than six weeks. Although there are more than 50 symptoms, the most common include, breathlessness, fatigue and ‘brain fog’.  

UEA has measures in place to support its students Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

UEA has measures in place to support its students Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

“There are referrals for long Covid service and you don’t have to have a positive Covid test to be referred – that's a misconception. However, the vast majority of people will get better with time," said Dr Shenton. 

How is long Covid treated? 

Young people should let their GPs know if they are experiencing long Covid symptoms, said Dr Richardson.

“There are long Covid clinics to refer people to but there is a long questionnaire to be filled in before that can happen. It’s important to exclude other illnesses and not just assume it’s long Covid,” she added.  

To watch the webinar yourself or to find out more information about walk-ins see here