Positive messages drive jab adoption among young people in Wales – Drakeford
Youth coronavirus vaccine uptake in Wales highest in UK due to encouragement rather than approach that ‘threatens’ or offers prizes, Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said .
Young people in England have been told they will not be entering nightclubs from next month unless they are double bitten, while there are also discounted taxi rides and meals used as incentives for people to get vaccinated.
But Mr Drakeford rejected this kind of approach, saying young people in Wales are simply being told they have ‘a contribution’ to make.
The latest statistics show that the absorption of the first doses in Wales among 18-29 year olds is 75%, compared to 72.8% in Scotland, 69.3% in England and 63, 9% in Northern Ireland.
Mr Drakeford told the Today program: ‘Our call to young people is not to threaten them by telling them that you won’t be able to do things or to try to entice them by offering them prizes, but simply telling them: a contribution to make, you can protect yourself but also the other people who matter to you ”.
“This call, I think, means that we have been successful in increasing the number of vaccines in this cohort higher than in other parts of the UK.”
He told Sky News that the approach in Wales is “to appeal to people, not to try to scare them into doing it or to make them do it”.
Nightclubs are set to reopen and all restrictions on meeting with others are to be removed in Wales, in the biggest easing of coronavirus measures since the start of the pandemic.
In an effort to increase the number of young people receiving the vaccine in England, its benefits will be broadcast to revelers at nightclubs, with veteran sites like Ministry of Sound and Heaven helping to spread messages, while the latter will also host a vaccination event. on Sunday.
Meanwhile, a scientist advising the government said it was “a shame” that the issue of mask wearing has “become almost a little politicized.”
Despite Wales easing restrictions, face masks will continue to be mandatory in most indoor public places, including public transport, shops and healthcare facilities.
Mr Drakeford described the wearing of the mask as a “simple precaution” and warned on BBC Radio Wales that in some other parts of the world where the measure has been lifted, “it must be reintroduced, as it was the week last in the United States of America “.
Professor Clifford Stott, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviors (Spi-B), told LBC: “Wearing a mask also communicates a sense of responsibility to others, and I think that’s a key issue. in the mask now, unfortunately.
“I think unfortunately it’s become almost a bit politicized whether you wear one or not, which I think is a shame.”
When it comes to vaccinating younger people, an expert said he supported the rollout to be extended “through high school” in a bid to protect them from the possible effects of a long Covid.
Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, told Times Radio: “We have been very jaded about the infection in children, but they can get very sick with acute Covid. They also have quite serious or similar chances of becoming long Covid.
“Think how devastating it is for kids who might get into their GCSEs or A-levels just to log out and not be able to function. It’s a horrible thing to do to children and we have to take it seriously and, at the very least, that would be a reason to roll out vaccines, as we are doing now. “
A study published earlier this week, led by researchers at King’s College London, found that children who fall ill with coronavirus are unlikely to have long-term effects, with less than 2% having symptoms lasting more than eight weeks.
Regarding the extension of the deployment beyond the 16 and 17 years, Prof. Altmann admitted that there were “complicated ethical discussions” on the use of vaccines when other countries had not yet received their. first or second dose.
Elsewhere, it has been announced that live events across the UK are expected to be covered by a government-backed £ 750million insurance scheme in a bid to stop a second summer of massive cancellations in due to the pandemic.
Industry figures have called for such a program to help them recover from the pandemic and be able to plan for events without the risk of a Covid-19 outbreak leaving them out of pocket.