Shrewsbury Town boss Steve Cotterill urges everyone to get the jab after his own hospital battle with Covid

Shrewsbury Town manager Steve Cotterill, who was hospitalised for nearly two months with Covid, has issued an emotional plea urging people to get vaccinated.

Shrewsbury Town boss Steve Cotterill has urged people to get vaccinated as soon as they can.
Shrewsbury Town boss Steve Cotterill has urged people to get vaccinated as soon as they can.

Cotterill, 56, spent nearly 50 days in Bristol Royal Infirmary, including a weekend in intensive care, during a gruelling battle with the virus.

The illness meant he was unable to attend a match in person for more than four months, with the December 29 victory over Blackpool his last visit to the Montgomery Waters Meadow until May 3, when his side hosted Oxford United.

Now he has spoken out, highlighting his experience in hospital and urging others to make sure they get vaccinated.

“If you knew half of what I had to endure in the Bristol Royal Infirmary, 100 per cent you would be having your injections," he said.

The Shrewsbury Town manager also specifically urged younger people to get themselves booked in as soon as they are able – saying he could not wait to see his daughters receive their vaccinations.

Cotterill said: “There is a big push at the moment to try and get everyone vaccinated. A lot of the older people have had their second jab, which is great. We’re now starting to get towards the younger groups and I would encourage them to go along and get their injections.

“They are not injecting a live virus where all of a sudden you’re going to be poorly for months on end like I was myself. After what I’ve been through, I couldn’t wait to get my daughters vaccinated and they’re in the younger group.

Vulnerable

“I say please, because I understand you can’t make everybody, but I would please ask all of you to go get your injections done. It’s not just for you, it’s for your parents, your grandparents and all your family members who are of an older generation who might be more vulnerable to it."

He added: "Please find the time to do it and I’m sure you will all be fine.”

The call has been backed by Steve Ellis from the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin vaccination programme who said: “The benefits of having a Covid-19 vaccination by far outweigh the risk of any very rare side-effects in a very small number of people. The vaccination can avoid people becoming seriously ill and avoid them having to go into hospital.

"It’s not too late to come forward even if you were invited some time ago; please book your appointment now.

"It is also important that people have their second doses to maximise the protection for themselves and their family.”

More than 500,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been given to people across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin so far.

A spokesman for the county's vaccination programme said it wants those who have not yet received a jab – but are eligible – to get in touch as soon as they can.

He said: "Although many people have come forward to be vaccinated as soon as they are invited, we are aware that some people have not yet had the Covid-19 vaccine. We would encourage anyone who is eligible to book an appointment as soon as possible especially if you have a long term condition such as diabetes, heart, liver or kidney disease, or if you have a learning disability or you’re a carer."

People can book their vaccination through the national booking system online at nhs.uk or by calling 119.

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