GP: why getting vaccinated is so important

As part of our 'Be a vaccine hero' campaign, Batley GP Dr Khalid Naeem tells the Reporter series why vaccination is so important to keep our communities safe.

Batley GP Dr Khalid Naeem
Batley GP Dr Khalid Naeem

Every vaccination matters

Nearly 300,000 people in Kirklees have now had at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccines. It’s been a truly remarkable effort by scientists, the NHS, local organisations and volunteers across our area.

When it’s been their turn, local people have stepped up to protect themselves, their family and their community. But the job isn’t finished yet.

Our 'Be a vaccine hero' campaign, in partnership with Kirklees Council and the NHS in Kirklees, is encouraging as many people as possible to book in for their Covid-19 vaccinations

Every vaccination matters. The more people who take it, the safer we all are and the more likely we are to get our lives back to normal.

That’s why I’m asking everyone in our area to get vaccinated when it’s your turn.

Do it to protect others

There will always be some people who can’t take the vaccine. Many of those people will have medical conditions that makes them vulnerable to Covid-19.

By taking your vaccine, you’re not only protecting yourself, you’re also reducing the chances of passing it on to others who may then become seriously ill.

We all know how quickly this virus can spread so make sure you protect yourself and help to protect others too.

Long Covid

You may think that because you’re fit and healthy that Covid-19 wouldn’t affect you - but you can’t be sure of that.

This isn’t a virus that only affects older people. We’re seeing people in their 30s and 40s coming into local hospitals with Covid-19.

We also know that Long Covid has severely affected a lot of young people.

It’s just not worth taking chances with Covid-19. The best way to protect yourself, whatever your age, is to take the vaccine.

It’s never too late

Just because you haven’t taken the vaccine yet, it’s not too late. Don’t worry if you didn’t get a vaccine when you were first offered it, there’s still time to get your jab.

If you’re aged 21 and over, you can book your vaccine right now by visiting the NHS website or calling 119.

Or you can visit one of the pop-up vaccination clinics that have been set up across Kirklees – simply come along, there’s no need to book. Full details of all pop-ups are on the council’s website and social media.

The vaccine is safe

A strict approval process means that all Covid-19 vaccines are safe and do not contain any animal products or alcohol. Any vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through.

It’s true that the Covid-19 vaccines have been developed rapidly but that’s because they haven’t been held back by things like lack of funding or a shortage of trial participants.

More than 71 million doses have been administered in the UK so far. The vaccines are safe, effective and our best route out of this crisis.

You may get side effects, but this is nothing to worry about

All vaccines can have some side effects. For the Covid-19 vaccines, these tend to be mild and do not last long.

Side effects are usually caused by your immune system response, which is completely natural. It may mean you get a runny nose, sinus congestion, cough or body aches, but much milder than becoming infected with Covid-19.

The risks of Covid-19 far outweigh the potential side effects of the vaccines.

Why do I need to have two doses of the vaccine?

Clinical trials showed that people build up better protection against Covid-19 symptoms when the vaccine is given in two, smaller doses, with an interval between them.

If you don’t have your second dose, you will not be as well protected as you could be. You need two doses to give the maximum amount of protection.

Still not convinced?

Vaccination is the very best way out of this crisis.

If you have reservations about taking the vaccine that I haven’t covered, I’d love to be able to give you the information that might change your mind.

Email your questions to [email protected] and I’ll answer them in an upcoming edition of the paper and on the Reporter series' websites. If you’d rather stay anonymous, that’s absolutely fine.