HEXHAM'S MP Guy Opperman and local man Edward Common, with his mother Lorna, shared their experience of the Covid vaccination and have encouraged others to receive the jab. 26-year-old Edward, who is clinically extremely vulnerable, received the first dose of the vaccine earlier this month.
As reported by the Courant, for almost a year, Edward has remained in his room to help keep Covid at bay, with only his mum Lorna having any direct contact with him in his room. Edward’s case was brought to the attention of Mr Opperman following coverage in the Courant. Mr Opperman has also received the first dose of the vaccine. Mr Opperman lost his spleen in a horse-riding accident 15 years ago, making him immuno-compromised and therefore clinically vulnerable. Speaking directly after receiving the first dose, Opperman said:
"The process was brilliant. The wonderful doctors, nurses and volunteers are doing an excellent job at making the vaccination centres safe and efficient.”
Until now, the NHS has asked people to wait until they are contacted to help ensure that those who are most vulnerable are protected first – and that remains the case for most people. However, to ensure absolutely everyone in the four priority groups is offered the vaccine, people aged 70 and over, along with those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, can now contact the NHS so they can be vaccinated.
Guy Opperman MP said:
“We have vaccinated more than 13.5 million people so far, which is incredible and thanks to the huge efforts of the NHS, volunteers and local authorities.
“Vaccines are safe, simple, and the way out of this pandemic. By ensuring you and your loved ones get booked in for a jab, the NHS can give those most at-risk, like Edward and myself, the protection we need as we continue to fight this disease together.”
Edwards’s mum, Lorna Common, said:
“Edward’s vaccine means everything to us. The more people who have the vaccine, the quicker we can return to normal. It’s the only way we can stamp out this devastating virus.”
Asked what he would say to others who might be afraid or reluctant to receive the vaccine, Edward Common said:
“It didn’t hurt a bit. We should all get it.”
The easiest way for people aged 70 and over, along with those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service which can be accessed at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.
The system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.
When asked by Mr Opperman what he was most looking forward to doing when we come out of lockdown, Edward said "I want to be able to live with the rest of my family in the house, go out, meet up with my friends and do what young people do. I also want to get back to playing powerchair football, both for the Northern Thunder club and England.”