SDLP councillor Steven Edwards has credited a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine with helping his immune system battle a recent dose of the coronavirus.
The Derg representative, whose Covid symptoms began on Monday of last week (July 5), tested positive for the virus the following day.
Thankfully, however, Cllr Edwards experienced only moderate symptoms – fever, headache, hallucinations and a persistent cough – and Covid-19 did not develop into a severe illness. This, he firmly believes, was down to him already having had one jab.
Today (Thursday), as his isolation comes to an end, Cllr Edwards is urging everyone to get vaccinated, especially young people who are 18 and above.
“I think its vitally important that the message is put out there urging everyone to get their Covid-19 vaccine as it can prevent serious illness among our population, and this includes our younger people too,” the local councillor said yesterday.
“I held off on getting the Covid-19 vaccine and waited my turn. There were a lot more people deservingly needing it more than I did. But, given my illness from the virus over the last week, I am very thankful that I got at least the first dose as I do believe it stopped me from getting seriously ill.”
Cllr Edwards received his first jab on May 4 and had been due to received the second dose this week, but was unable to attend the appointment due to his positive Covid test.
“While I am unsure where I picked the virus up, symptoms did start with a severe sore throat which then developed into flu like symptoms for around four days,” he continued. “While I did get moderate symptoms, the illness did not cause any significant breathing difficulties, nor did it advance into my lungs. I do believe that it was the vaccine that ensured this was the case and had I not gotten it, it could have been a lot worse. I therefore strongly encourage anyone who has not had a vaccine to get it.
“I am very thankful for our NHS and I thank all those involved in the vaccination and testing programmes locally. They don’t get the credit they deserve. The Health Minister, Robin Swann, is also doing a fantastic job and I do join with him in urging that people aged 18+ to get the vaccine. By getting it, not only are they preventing severe illness, but these young people will be helping stop the spread of the virus to their families and within our community.”