A Tayside teenager has become one of the youngest people in the UK to get the coronavirus vaccine – after almost a year of shielding.
Holly Webster, 16, said she was delighted to receive the Covid jab.
The teen has an inherited blood condition, spherocytosis, which led to her having an operation to remove her spleen in May 2019, reducing her immune system.
The condition meant Holly, who also suffers from Von Willebrand disease, was eligible to get the Pfizer vaccine at Dewars Centre in Perth.
Holly said: “It was well-organised and the staff were lovely. It was a little bit sore but over and done with quickly. I am happy to have had it done.
“I will shield for three more weeks and then hopefully after that I will be able to go out and see my friends for a walk – but I will still be cautious until I get the second dose.”
Holly, from Perth, has been shielding since March last year.
She said: “It’s been so hard, especially not being able to see my friends.
“I had to stop going to my dance classes too, which is my way of letting go of everything, so to have that taken away was tough.
“It was scary watching the daily briefings and seeing the numbers rising and it felt really close to home.
“You take seeing your friends or going to the shop for granted but when it’s taken away from you it’s hard. It was scary worrying I might get it.”
Holly said she felt forgotten about at times, as she waited to find out if she could have the vaccine, given her age.
She said: “I was so relieved when I was told I was having it. I have missed out on so much already, socially and academically.
“With the vaccine I am in a grey area, I am classed as a child but closer to 18, so I felt stuck in the middle and kind of forgotten.
“I went back to school in August but then my mum took me out again in October because there were more and more people self-isolating which was worrying.
“I have worried about falling behind with my Highers which affected my mental health.
“I want to be a primary school teacher, so I need good grades to get into university, and online teaching is not the same.”
Mum Fiona, 43, said Holly has not had any side effects following the vaccine. She said: “I had to make a hard decision at the start of the pandemic whether to just shield Holly or all of us (Holly has two siblings).
“We were inside for 118 days during the first lockdown, we never left the front door.
“It’s been scary especially if she has been poorly, you are worried about taking her to the doctor in case she gets it.”