By Theo Burman
Since the government’s announcement that those over the age of 18 can book Covid-19 vaccinations, a significant proportion of the student body has booked a vaccination or already had one, with a recent survey indicating that well over 90% of the student body plan on having one at some point.
A Durham Polling survey of 144 students revealed that 74% of respondents had already had the vaccine or have booked one, with this statistic increases to 86% if students who said they planned to book a vaccine within the next two weeks are included.
An additional 14% of respondents said they planned to book one after the next two weeks. However, the size of this group may have been inflated due to the recent local increase in cases pushing back the dates at which students can have vaccines, as health and safety regulations stipulate a four-week waiting period between a positive diagnosis and taking a vaccine.
At the time of the vaccine extension to 18+-year-olds, 23% of respondents said they had already had the vaccine, due to pre-existing conditions that made them more vulnerable to Covid, or because they worked as front-line respondents, who were prioritised in the initial stages of the vaccine rollout.
Less than 2% of respondents said they did not plan on booking the vaccine. The availability of vaccinations has been greatly aided by the introduction of walk-in centres which do not require bookings, one of which was available in Market Square.
The rise in student vaccinations comes as data shows that the majority of cases in the Durham area are being identified in young people. Reports from Durham County Council, available here, show that 0-19-year-olds make up 34% of daily cases, with 20-29-year-olds making up 47%.
This is the highest proportion of cases younger groups have been in Durham since records began, with 40-79-year-olds making up only 19% of cases due to their early access to vaccinations.
Image: Beatrice Law