FEARS over the side effects of the Covid vaccine are putting young people in south Essex off being jabbed, health bosses believe.

New figures reveal how more than a third of under 30s in both Basildon and Southend are yet to be jabbed, weeks after they were invited by the NHS.

In Southend, 16,183 people aged between 18 and 29 have received their first dose, making up 62 per cent of the age group, while 64 per cent of the age group have been jabbed in Basildon.

The figures follow Southend Council launching it’s Grab a Jab campaign in a bid to encourage young people to get their jab.

Krishna Chaterverdi, a GP across Westcliff and Shoebury for more than 30 years, fears youngsters are being put off by potential side effects.


He said: “There really is nothing to worry about, they are very uncommon. I think it’s very disappointing that people aren’t taking it.

“The NHS and CCG’s are going and above and beyond to reach people who haven’t had one yet.

“People aren’t coming forward because they’re worried about being ill because of the side effects, I can’t see any other reason why.”

Southend’s Grab a Jab campaign will see material plastered across, as well as on buses, train station billboards and high street posters.

A video will also play on rotation via The Forum’s big screen video in central Southend.

It will feature a series of young people proudly displaying their vaccinated right arms under the heading I’d give my right arm to be “dancing at a festival”, “back in a club”, “back at the match”, “to see my family”, and “to be back on holiday.”

Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public health in Southend, said: “We want our young people to know that by having both Covid-19 vaccinations they can enjoy getting back to the activities they have missed with the confidence and knowledge that they are protecting themselves from catching or passing on the virus.

“It is however imperative that both doses are taken to provide maximum protection.

“Regular testing, even if you don’t have symptoms, can also help control the spread of the virus.”

Across the East of England as a whole, 35 pre cent of people aged between 18 and 29 had not received a first jab by August 7.

All adults in England have been able to book a first vaccine dose since June 17.

Elaine Gloyne, owner of The Broker pub in Leigh, said: “We are supporting this campaign and will be displaying posters in our premises because it’s really important that everyone, young and old, sees the benefits of getting vaccinated and know that they can access it safely and easily and enjoy getting back to all the things that have been off limits due to the pandemic.”