Young doctors aged in their 20s and 30s have urged their peers to get vaccinated and reject misinformation on social media.
It comes as 91 people aged between 20 and 39 were in Scottish hospitals having been admitted with Covid-19 as of Monday, the Scottish Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties (SAMRCF) said.
Thirty-nine were in their 20s and 52 in their 30s, compared to 157 people aged 60 or over in hospitals due to Covid-19, it added.
As of Thursday, first-dose vaccine uptake among the 18-29 age group was 72.8% while it was 81% among people in their 30s, Public Health Scotland data shows.
Six trainee medics have now written an open letter expressing concern that “many very sick people are still coming into hospital with Covid-19… including lots of people in their 20s and 30s who have not been vaccinated”.
It said: “We know that some people are worried about possible side effects.
“There’s a lot of misinformation on social media at the moment and that leads to mistrust. But side effects are normally very mild – symptoms like a sore head, a sore arm, or tiredness normally last for just a couple of days.
“That’s better than the symptoms of Covid-19 itself, or long Covid – which can go on for months and be much worse.”
They extended their vaccination plea to 16 and 17-year-olds and pregnant women.
Around one in 10 pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid-19 requires intensive care and one in five gives birth prematurely, they said, citing data from the University of Oxford.
The letter adds: “Like many of you, younger medics are tired of the pandemic. But we must keep fighting on.
“The quicker that everyone is vaccinated, the quicker we can get back to a normal life; to doing the things that we all love.”
The plea was endorsed by SAMRCF chairman Dr Miles Mac, who said: “Speaking to medical trainees, it struck me that they are troubled and concerned that very sick people in their age group are being admitted to hospital with Covid-19.
“I plead with people to listen to these young medics.
“They have been on the front line of the pandemic. They have seen the serious illness that Covid-19 can cause in people of all ages.
“Please follow the young medics’ advice and get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The signatories to the letter are:
– Dr Adelina McLeod (trainee physician, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh)
– Dr Mohamed Elseedawy (trainee GP, Royal College of GPs)
– Dr Jennie Cathcart (trainee physician, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow)
– Dr Francis Robertson (surgical trainee, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh)
– Dr Eireann Allen (representative of the Scottish Academy trainee doctors group)
– Dr Manveer Rahi (trainee physician, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh).
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