Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Patients turning down Pfizer coronavirus vaccine 'to wait for English one'
7 January 2021, 20:41 | Updated: 7 January 2021, 20:56
Elderly patients are turning down the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine because they want to “wait for the English one”, a doctor has said.
Paul Williams, former Labour MP for Stockton South, said taking such a risk “in the depths of a pandemic" shows that “nationalism has consequences”.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was made available to patients at the start of December, with the Oxford/AstraZeneca version being authorised on December 30.
The Government has been clear that both vaccines are safe, effective and offer a high-level of protection against Covid-19.
Experts say there are no head-to-head comparisons between the two, and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation does not advise a preference between the two vaccines for any specific population.
Writing on Twitter, Dr Williams said: “Some local patients have turned down an offer this weekend of getting a Covid vaccine when they found out it was the Pfizer one. ‘I’ll wait for the English one’.
“People at risk of death in the depths of a pandemic. A lesson that Nationalism has consequences.”
Some local patients have turned down an offer this weekend of getting a Covid vaccine when they found out it was the Pfizer one. “I’ll wait for the English one”.— Dr Paul Williams (@PaulWilliamsLAB) January 7, 2021
People at risk of death in the depths of a pandemic.
A lesson that Nationalism has consequences.
He added: “They will stay on the priority list.
“(The) Oxford (vaccine is) not yet here, but when it is it will be offered to them.
“Sometimes patients need a bit of time to make up their mind about these things, but time isn’t on our side here!”
Dr Williams was a GP before turning to politics, continued to see patients while he was an MP to maintain a link with them and, since being voted out in 2019, has worked on the NHS’s fight against Covid-19.
He was made an OBE in the New Year Honours list for his services to Parliament and healthcare.