A recovering Walsall COVID-19 patient who kept putting off his vaccine has urged young people to get theirs sooner rather than later after he fell seriously ill.
Scott McKenzie, from Cannock, is just 27 but contracted the virus and remains in Walsall Manor Hospital with COVID-19, pneumonia and a chest infection.
Before being admitted the keen hiker found himself struggling to get out of bed without getting breathless and became really unwell.
Scott, who has spent a week in hospital, had received his first dose just seven days before he believes he contracted COVID-19. The first dose should give good protection three or four weeks after it has been given. Two doses are required for stronger and longer-lasting protection.
“My girlfriend kept telling me ‘you’ve got to get the vaccine’, but I was one of those people who left it,” said Scott, who is a partner in a sign installation business. “My girlfriend and my mum and dad have had both jabs and they are all fine. I would tell people 100 per cent, get double jabbed.”
Scott is convinced he caught the virus on a weekend away with family in Brighton. On returning, he and girlfriend Charlotte Moylan, 25, took lateral flow tests which were positive. The two family members they were with both returned positive tests too. Charlotte and the other couple have all been double jabbed and are fine, but Scott started suffering flu-like symptoms and quickly got worse.
Just a month before, Scott had scaled Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, but suddenly he became breathless just getting out of bed and walking around the house.
“It started with a snuffle then a cough,” he recalled. “But the next day I have never felt so ill. I couldn’t walk to the bathroom or downstairs without being completely out of breath. Everything I was doing was taking my breath away and it felt like I’d got a clamp on my chest it was so tight. So I decided to get myself checked out and an ambulance was here within 20 minutes.”
Scott has needed oxygen ever since he was admitted to hospital, but his condition is improving and he is hoping to leave in the next few days.
A vaccination bus is outside the rear (Sister Dora) entrance of Walsall Manor Hospital, opposite the Emergency Department, daily from 8am-7pm. If you’re over 18 or it has been eight weeks since your first dose, please get on board. The bus offers Pfizer vaccines only and is open for patients, staff and the public.
And the Saddlers Vaccination Centre in Walsall is open for walk-ins for anyone aged 18 and over, offering Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccinations, between 8am and 7pm every day.
More information for young people about the COVID-19 vaccination is available here https://bit.ly/3wJ2AOl