Yente Thomas is 17 years old and has become one of the first teenagers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium, a country which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yente volunteers in a residential care home and was therefore included in the first phase of the country’s vaccination strategy, along with the care home’s elderly residents.

Currently in his final high school year of Health and Welfare Sciences, Yente decided to volunteer in a nearby residential care home in the town of Wachtebeke. “You receive gratitude and love from working there, seeing people smile spontaneously at you when you arrive, that colours my day and is worth more than money,” he told the UN Regional Information Centre in Brussels, Belgium.

In this clip, he gives three reasons as to why getting the vaccine is so important and shares his view on how to combat misinformation. 

When asked about the importance of the vaccine, Yente is decisive: “we have to go through this together as one front. You only win a war by working together.”

“Global solidarity will save lives, protect people and help defeat this vicious virus,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his statement on the two millionth death from the COVID-19 pandemic. “To gain public trust, we must boost vaccine confidence (…) with effective communication grounded in facts,” he concluded.