Young adults in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot are being warned about the risk of developing long Covid if they do not get vaccinated.
Getting two doses of Covid-19 vaccination is one of the best ways to protect yourself against Covid-19 - and experiencing symptoms long term (known as long Covid).
While young adults are less likely to get seriously ill if they test positive for Covid-19, around one in 10 18 to 49-year-olds go on to develop long- term symptoms after having the virus, regardless of how unwell they were initially.
Long Covid occurs when a person experiences Covid-19 symptoms for more than four weeks after it is first suspected they were infected with coronavirus. The most common long Covid symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle ache and difficulty concentrating.
The Office for National Statistics recently reported that an estimated 962,000 people in the UK say they are experiencing long Covid.
In addition, the ZOE Covid symptom study has found that there are an estimated 500 cases of long Covid a day among unvaccinated people in the UK.
Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Director of Public Health, Dr Keith Reid said: “Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect yourself from Covid-19 – and potentially developing long Covid.
“Many people don’t realise the very real risk that you could still be having symptoms many weeks or months down the line – even if you don’t feel too unwell after first testing positive.
“National statistics show that while young adults are less likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19, around one in nine of 17 to 24 year olds and one in six of 25 to 34 year olds still have symptoms 12 weeks after testing positive.
“Think about which of your friends might get long COVID if you don’t protect yourself and them.
“Long Covid affects every aspect of your life.
“It might be that you don’t feel too bad when you’re first infected but you can still go on to experience long-term effects such as extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, brain fog and more.”
Swansea Bay UHB is making it easier for 18-39 year olds in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot to get vaccinated.
In addition to booked appointments, Pfizer first dose drop-in sessions are being held at the Bay Field Hospital Mass Vaccination Centre every weekend in July – starting Saturday 17th.