Young people given vaccine advice ahead of vaccine passport change

By Lynette Pinchess & Keimae Blake

Clubbers are being urged to take the first step towards qualifying for a vaccine passport - or risk being left out in the cold.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the proof of vaccination against Covid was necessary at big venues to avoid winter closures.

Coun David Mellen, Nottingham City Council leader, said: "We’ve been hearing over the weekend that vaccine passports will likely be needed in nightclubs and other indoor venues this autumn.

"This would involve people having proof that they have had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccination. Having this double-jabbed status would then allow access to a range of events and activities.

"If such a scheme is implemented, I would advise people to take the first step to qualifying for a passport today. It would likely take about ten weeks to get a passport. You need eight weeks between first and second doses and then a further two weeks to get maximum immunity from the virus.

"Why not take action now to be ‘passport-ready’ for the autumn? If you are over 16, you can walk into the many vaccination sites across the city without appointment."

Nottinghamshire Live spoke to clubbers and gig-goers to ask their opinions.

Jenna Tollit, a 21-year-old student from Nuthall, said: "It’s a good idea to prove that individuals have been double jabbed. It's only fair for the rest of nightclub goers who are fully vaccinated as they want to be safe whilst having fun at the same time.”

Operational administrator, Jane Whittle, 32, from Carlton, said: "It’s a good idea, I think it will put people at ease in nightclubs knowing that everyone around them is vaccinated although that doesn’t mean it will stop the spread, you can still catch it [the virus].”

Megan Nelson, a 21-year-old teaching assistant from Basford, added: "I think it’s important to ensure people’s safety because if you let people into the club who aren’t vaccinated then it’s unfair to people who are vulnerable.

"We can’t keep vulnerable people inside forever, they should feel like they can go out. It also prolongs the pandemic and the spread of the virus.”

Wayne, aka Roger Shakshuka, tweeted: "I'm still scared to go inside a full venue (500+). Prior to lockdown, I was going to gigs weekly. If people aren't going to take basic precautions like wearing masks and proof of vaccination, I'll be staying away until at least next year if/when delta is under control."

Politics and international relations student Kieran Burt, who lives in the city centre, had an alternative view. The 20-year-old is not an anti-vaxxer - he has been double jabbed himself - but he said people should have the freedom of choice.

The Nottingham Trent University student said: "I'm definitely against the introduction of vaccine passports - I am pro vaccine myself, I want to make that clear- but it is coercing people into getting a jab which some people are unsure about getting.

"But they're being forced to get it by saying if you don't get it you're not allowed to participate in society.

"Unfortunately if someone decides they are against the vaccine for whatever reason, that is something we should accept being a free, tolerant society."

Last month Mr Zahawi said: "I encourage businesses to use the NHS covid pass in the weeks ahead. We will be keeping a close watch on how it is used by venues and we reserve the right to mandate if necessary.

"By the end of September everyone aged 18 and over will have the chance to receive full vaccination and the additional two weeks for that full protection to really take hold so at that point we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather."


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