'You can't hope your way into Covid immunity': JCVI doctor challenges anti-vaxxer

30 July 2021, 09:59

By Fiona Jones

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation member Dr Maggie Wearmouth responds to this young caller who is refusing to have the Covid jab as she believes it was "knocked up" too quickly.

Around 60,000 deaths have been prevented in England as a result of the Covid vaccine programme, the deputy chief medical officer has said.

Prof Jonathan Van-Tam said an estimated 22 million cases have also been stopped - a "truly massive" success.

However caller Stephanie, 32, told LBC's Nick Ferrari that she has had neither jab because "they've had to produce something to react to this pandemic very quickly...and it was knocked up very quickly."

She continued, "There is no long term data, 90,000 people is not a scientific sample."

Nick asked her whether she is nervous she will get Covid or, even worse, Long Covid.

"I'm not nervous at all that I'll get it," she said, "I'm in perfect health."

Dr Maggie said, "Can I say categorically you cannot eat, think or hope your way into Covid immunity. There are only two ways of getting Covid immune."

Read more: More than 99 per cent of pregnant women taken to hospital with Covid-19 are unvaccinated - study

Dr Maggie continued: "One is to get it and from what I've seen, I really really would not suggest that. It is not a good thing it can be very upsetting at the time. The only other way is to get vaccinated. Most people get vaccinated when their fear of the disease is greater than the fear of the vaccine.

"I would certainly say from what I've seen my fear of the virus and the disease it causes is an awful lot greater than a bit of a sore arm and a thick head for a couple of days, which is what most people have.

"We're trying to be as honest and transparent as we can, we can't work miracles. We are doing a fairly good job at having produced a vaccine like this and got it out."

She told Stephanie that her son is a frontline doctor and young like Stephanie; while he didn't have too bad a case, he went back to work and "couldn't cope" and it was a full month before his symptoms settled.

"As a young person in their twenties or thirties, I would think my main concern about catching Covid isn't the kind of problem of being in hospital...it's actually not being able to cope if I think I'm well enough to go back to work and I can't.

"If you're working in a gig economy and don't get sick pay, then that would be a really serious effect."