VULNERABLE people are refusing to receive the US-developed Pfizer Covid vaccine, preferring to wait for the ‘English one’, according to a GP.
Former Stockton Labour MP Dr Paul Williams, who is currently working in Covid clinics, believes that nationalism is responsible for people opting to wait for the UK-developed Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine instead of accepting the Pfizer vaccine currently being offered.
Dr Williams says he has heard reports from GP practices who vaccinating the most Covid-vulnerable group – the over 80s – that when offered the Pfizer jab, some are turning it down to wait for the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.
Dr Williams said: “I have heard that GP practices are ringing people and saying ‘do you want to come along for your first vaccine tomorrow’ and when they are told it is the Pfizer one, they are saying ‘no thanks, I’ll wait for the other one’.
“People who are saying they want to wait for the Oxford one are losing the certainty of a vaccination being given to them in a couple days, over something that we don’t know yet exactly when they will get.”
Patients are apparently turning down the Pfizer vaccine to wait for the UK-developed jab Picture: Pixabay
Dr Williams said that although both vaccines are ‘very effective’, the Pfizer jab is actually slightly more efficient.
He urged people to take the first vaccine offered, saying he is seeing the awful consequences of Covid first-hand through his work in the virus clinics.
He said: “There is of course some national pride to be had about the fact that there has been a vaccine that works that has been invented in one of our universities and manufactured both in the UK and Europe.
“But I think what that has turned into sometimes is nationalism. It has been sent out with the British flag on.
“It is when pride overlaps with nationalism and I think people are getting messages from the Government that are leading to them to make that decision not to take the Pfizer vaccine.
“Because it isn’t a clinically-based decision in the middle of a pandemic to turn down one vaccine to wait for another one just because of the country that one has been invented in.”
Dr Williams placed the blame firmly with the Government, saying it has used nationalism to promote the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
He added: “If you have made the decision to get vaccinated, I think most people out there would want to get vaccinated as soon as possible and I think most people would expect that those fortunate enough to be offered the vaccine now, rather that wait weeks or months, should take the opportunity.
“I am not blaming the individuals, I think it is the way that some people have used nationalism to promote this vaccine (Oxford/AstraZeneca).
“It is not the officials, it is the Government.”
Dr Williams posted his concerns over social media, saying in a Tweet that people waiting for ‘the English’ vaccine are at risk of death in the depths of a pandemic.
He said it was a lesson that nationalism has consequences.