Trainee pharmacists and pharmacy students took active part in vaccine campaign and played key roles in the administration of the first and second doses of the Covid-19 jabs.
They extended support to #GetVaccinated campaign launched by the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) in February 2021, which aimed to dispel vaccine myths and utilise pharmacists’ unique role in their communities to have conversations with patients about the vaccines.
Students’ efforts to increase vaccine uptake have been a success. Almost 90 per cent of all UK adults have had their first dose, and around 70 per cent have had both doses of the vaccine.
However, despite being eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine from June 2021, only 34 per cent of 18–29-year-olds in England and 30 per cent in Scotland are yet to be vaccinated.
Stephanie Ogborogu, PDA Student Representative said: “The more students that get vaccinated means greater freedom to have a normal student life in universities, less fear of the virus and opportunities to meet with friends and family. Vaccines are shown to have greater effects when the majority of people receive their doses; hopefully, by encouraging more of the population to get vaccinated, we can avoid further outbreaks of the virus”.
PDA student representatives are focusing on the positives of taking the vaccine as a way of encouraging vaccination uptake amongst their peers.
Rhys Buchan, PDA Student Representative said: “Getting the vaccine as a young person is crucial to looking after the health of those who are most at risk. We can protect the elderly, people with underlying health conditions and patients who are clinically vulnerable and see our families and friends safely.”
Many students believe that educating younger people on the importance and safety of the vaccines is required. A more sustainable approach to building a collective responsibility across society in tackling Covid-19 and potential mutations is needed.
The Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) said that more than 3 million young people are yet to receive their first dose of the vaccine and the government are considering a range of incentives.
Besides, the government will soon start offering a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to all 16 and 17-year-olds in the UK following a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI) on Wednesday (August 4).