Date of release: 16 July 2021
With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, I must stress the importance of having the vaccine as we approach our second Big Walk-in Weekend across the Black Country.
This is so important as we try to urge more young people to have the jab. Not enough people in this age group in our region are getting protected so it’s vital that they do to reduce the numbers of infections, as well as patient admissions, to ease the pressure on our hospitals and staff.
The importance of getting jabbed was brought home to me this week through the story of a recovering Covid-19 patient at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.
Scott McKenzie kept putting off getting his vaccine, but after he fell seriously ill, now wants everyone to act quickly. Scott, from Cannock, is just 27 but contracted the virus and was admitted to Walsall Manor Hospital where he has been battling Covid, pneumonia and a chest infection.
Just a month before, the keen hiker had scaled Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, but when he became ill he was breathless just getting out of bed and walking around the house.
Scott had received his first dose of the vaccine just seven days before he believes he contracted Covid. The first dose should give good protection three or four weeks after it has been given. Two doses are required for stronger and longer-lasting protection.
“My girlfriend kept telling me ‘you’ve got to get the vaccine’, but I was one of those people who left it,” said Scott. “My girlfriend and my mum and dad have had both jabs and they are all fine. I would tell people 100 per cent, get double jabbed.”
Scott has been able to return home but his story is one that should resonate with young people everywhere.
If you are aged 18 or over, in an at risk group, a carer or a frontline health and social care worker who has not yet had your vaccine, you can walk in to the Saddlers Vaccination Centre, (WS2 9NW) any day between 8am-7pm. Alternatively if you prefer to book your appointment, you can do this online via the NHS website or by calling 119.
Walsall vaccination buses are operating to take the COVID-19 vaccine to those who live, study or work in the area and may have difficulty getting to a vaccination centre or other local vaccination service. Please go to Walsall Council - Vaccination Bus for more information on this.
In Wolverhampton, you can receive vaccination at walk-in clinics at numerous locations around the city during weekdays and this weekend. Please visit City of Wolverhampton Council - Walk-in Vaccinations for more information.
People under 25 have been able to get the jab since June 15 and those 18 and over now only have to wait eight weeks for their second jab, rather than 12 weeks as was previously the case.