The young ones doing their bit for family and friends with jabs

They are at the end of the queue. But these young people couldn't be happier to finally get their chance to be vaccinated.

Telford College students Charlie Robinson 17, Lindsey Ellis 22, and Emma Lloyd 18
Telford College students Charlie Robinson 17, Lindsey Ellis 22, and Emma Lloyd 18

As those aged 18 and over were invited to book a coronavirus vaccine, there has been a huge uptake in young people booking appointments.

Around a million Covid-19 jabs were booked in a day as the NHS vaccination programme was opened up to people aged 18 to 20, with eight booked every second.

It dispelled any notion that young people may not be as enthusiastic to get the jab as those in the older category.

Students at Telford College spoke of their thoughts as the vaccination milestone arrived and described how the past year has affected them.

Emma Lloyd , 18

Emma Lloyd, 18, Charli Robinson, 17, Jon Jackson, 17, and Lindsey Ellis, 22, all said they felt positive that getting vaccinated was in the best interests for themselves and those around them.

Emma, who studies Level 3 childcare, has already had her first and second jab, and said she felt good doing something she knew would protect her family and loved ones.

Lindsey, who studies computing, has her vaccine booked for this week and said she is looking forward to it.

A-level students Jon, and Charli, who are both not yet eligible for a vaccination, said they will book an appointment as soon as they are able to.

All four students said the past year had been difficult in terms of remote learning, a lack of socialising with friends and classmates, and worrying about vulnerable family members.

However, the group agreed they had learned a lot during lockdown about themselves, and with support from the college, felt better about the future.

"It has definitely been different," Jon said. "Going into lockdown and online learning coincided with us transitioning from secondary school to college. So we were trying to get used to everything at once."

Charli Robinson, 17

Charli said: "It has been a stressful year. Not having your teachers there in front of you was hard, you don't have that direct connection."

Emma said that as mental health has been discussed more during the pandemic, she felt she had learned a lot about the important things in life.

"We have had to be around our families more and it's put of a value on that time, and how hundreds of thousands of people have lost loved one, you think about how lucky you are to have your own family," she said.

"I have had both my vaccines. I got it as soon as I was asked. I think if you have the opportunity to have the vaccine, then you should."

Charli, who at 17 isn't yet eligible for a vaccination, said she will take up the offer when she is able to, but doesn't think it will be an easy solution.

"It's not a guaranteed fix and by the time we are all vaccinated, the older people who were vaccinated first might be vulnerable again," she said. "I don't think it's going to go away."

Lindsey Ellis, 22

Lindsey has her vaccine booked on Thursday and thinks it would be silly for people not to have it.

"Because we as young people are deemed an asymptomatic age group, it's the fact we could pass it on without knowing," she explained.

"My dad is quite vulnerable so I have to be careful. It's not just to protect myself but to protect others. I have gotten into arguments with people on social media about the vaccine.

"As a country and as a world we have to learn to live with this. Everything takes time to go away and it's a process we have to deal with and I think the more we listen to others the more chance we have of dealing with it."

Jon, who is also still 17, said having the vaccine is not something he has thought a lot about, and believes it will become similar to the flu jab students have in year 9.

"If I am asked to take the vaccine, then I will," he said. "I am happy to take it, it's just not something I have really thought too much about.

"If it's to keep vulnerable people safe then by all means I will take it. Younger people, with younger bodies, are better at fighting off things so I understand it is necessary but I wouldn't say it's something I've really thought about."

He added: "I think you can't have too much of an opinion on Covid unless you have actually experienced it. I don't know what it's like to have it, or see its effects on someone you love.

"So I would take the vaccine because I want to protect others."

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