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PDA Student Reps take part in the PDA’s #GetVaccinated campaign

Pharmacists have been in the front line of the pandemic and along with trainee pharmacists and pharmacy students. They have played key roles in the administration of the first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and in reassuring hesitant patients.

Fri 6th August 2021 The PDA

The PDA launched their #GetVaccinated campaign in February 2021 to support the NHS campaign and to help to dispel vaccine myths and utilise pharmacists’ unique role in their communities to have conversations with patients about the vaccines.

Efforts to increase vaccine uptake have been a success. Almost 90% of all UK adults have had their first dose, and around 70% have had both doses of the vaccine. However, despite being eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine from June 2021, only 34% of 18–29-year-olds in England and 30% in Scotland are yet to be vaccinated.

Stephanie Ogborogu, PDA Student Rep said: “The more students that get vaccinated means greater freedom to have a normal student life in universities, less fear of the virus and opportunities to meet with friends and family. Vaccines are shown to have greater effects when the majority of people receive their doses; hopefully, by encouraging more of the population to get vaccinated, we can avoid further outbreaks of the virus”.

Vaccine rates for 18-29-year-olds are now climbing, but many see the lower uptake of the vaccine by younger people is stemming from the belief that contracting the virus will have less impact on their health than older generations. PDA student reps are focusing on the positives of taking the vaccine as a way of encouraging vaccination uptake amongst their peers.

Rhys Buchan, PDA Student Rep said: “Getting the vaccine as a young person is crucial to looking after the health of those who are most at risk. We can protect the elderly, people with underlying health conditions and patients who are clinically vulnerable and see our families and friends safely.”

The Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) said that more than 3 million young people are yet to receive their first dose of the vaccine and the government are considering a range of incentives.

However, many health care professionals, including some PDA members and MPharm students believe that educating younger people on the importance and safety of the vaccines is required. A more sustainable approach to building a collective responsibility across society in tackling Covid-19 and potential mutations is needed.

A PDA Student Rep from Kingston University said: “Creating incentives for young people to get their vaccinations feels like pressure and isn’t sustainable. Investment in health literacy, so that information is available to young people about vaccines is crucial so they can make an informed choice.”

Hannah Baker, PDA Student Organising Assistant said: “We know that some younger people become seriously ill from the virus and Long Covid can have a significant impact on younger people too. We all want university education and life to be back to normal and as safely as possible in September. The PDA encourage all eligible students to get vaccinated over the summer.”

Students and younger generations who want to get their vaccination can look at the NHS website for walk-in centres under the NHS ‘Grab a Jab’ campaign.

Get involved

Share a photo or message on social media encouraging other students and younger people to get their Covid-19 vaccine by using #GetVaccinated and tagging the PDA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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