Plea for last 1 in 5 to get Covid jab - and ignore anti-vaxxers' 'nonsense'
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Nearly one in five adults in Suffolk have not been double vaccinated against coronavirus - prompting an MP to criticise the "dangerous nonsense" of anti-vaxxers and urge people to get the jab.
Latest government figures up to September 17 show 85.7% of over-16s in Suffolk have had their first vaccine, while 80.1% have had both shots in the arm.
In Essex, 83.7% of adults aged 16 and over have had their first jab, while 77.5% have received their second dose.
There are fears that those who have not had both injections could be at greater risk of becoming seriously ill if they catch Covid-19.
That in turn could put huge pressure on the NHS during winter, at a time when hospitalisations have been rising across the country.
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Dr Dan Poulter - MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, who works part-time as an NHS doctor - said: "The overwhelming evidence is that the vaccines appear to be safe.
"They are the single best way of avoiding becoming seriously unwell with Covid and the single best way of avoiding other adverse consequences, including death.
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"We know the vaccines are saving lives and for the younger people who are maybe weighing up the risk and benefit analysis, it's not just necessarily about them.
"It's about the fact that if they become infected, they may then infect other people who are older and more vulnerable.
"We all have a duty to protect not just ourselves but everyone else from Covid."
However, he is particularly concerned about anti-vaxxers putting people off getting the jab.
"The most important thing is not to listen to the pseudo science and nonsense, and frankly dangerous nonsense, that is put out by the anti-vaccination movement - of which there's a lot on social media.
"People really should ignore these dangerous claims on social media from the anti-vaccination movement.
"I've seen patients who are avid anti-vaxxers, who believe what they see on social media, come into hospital, are very unwell and some of them go on to die.
"The stark reality is, if you're not vaccinated, particularly if you're in a vulnerable group, or you're older - you're much more likely to do less well with Covid.
"If you're a younger person, it's about protecting your parents and grandparents."
The uptake for first dose of the vaccine among people aged 18 to 24 in Suffolk stands at 75.4%.
That is higher than the 25-29 age range, of which 72.5% have received their first jab.
It's a similar pattern in Essex, with 69.7% of 18 to 24-year-olds having received their first dose compared with 67.5% in the 25 to 29 age group.