Kirklees' youngest councillor has Covid jab - and urges others to get vaccinated

The youngest-ever councillor elected in Kirklees Council’s 47-year history has had his first Covid jab – and urged others to follow suit.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 10:00 am
Young Kirklees councillor Josh Sheard gets a first dose of the Covid vaccine from Deirdre, with Honley Volunteers, at his workplace, Fox’s Biscuits in Batley

Josh Sheard, who is 19, was elected in May to represent Birstall and Birkenshaw for the Conservatives.

He received his initial dose of the coronavirus vaccine from Honley Volunteers with Medicare at Fox’s Biscuits in Batley where he works as a process operator.

And as infection rates continue to rise in parts of the borough, he has encouraged people of all ages to do their bit to “win the war” against Covid.

Josh Sheard, right, pictured in Birstall Market Place with ward colleagues Mark Thompson and Liz Smaje

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Meet Joshua, the youngest ever councillor in Kirklees - aged 19

He said: “Young people have played a crucial role throughout this pandemic. Students have set aside their education to stay at home and help fight this invisible enemy. But we’re not out the woods yet and still have a long way to go.

“The greatest weapon in our arsenal to fight this virus is the Covid vaccine.

“So I’m urging everyone, both young and old, to get the vaccine and continue to follow Government guidelines and soon enough we will have overcome the virus and won the war.”

He also said “a huge thank you” to all NHS staff including his mother, Nicola, and her colleagues at Pinderfields Hospital for what he described as “their relentless courage and determination” throughout the pandemic.

Kirklees’ infection rate is one of the highest in the country and is rising. As of last week 108 people per 100,000 in Kirklees were testing positive for Covid-19 over the previous seven days.

That means the borough’s infection rate increased by 50 per cent in a week. The national average is 23 people per 100,000.

However high levels of vaccine uptake in Kirklees have resulted in 237,000 local people having their first dose, with 153,000 of those receiving their second.

The council has also stepped up testing in key parts of Kirklees.