Nearly a quarter of the population of the UK has now received at least one dose of the vaccine. This is great news and something we can all feel pleased about. Uptake of the vaccine has been very high at over 90% so far. This compares with a typical vaccination program in the UK which would normally see uptake of about 75%.
That’s not to say there hasn’t been a lot of misinformation from anti-vaccination groups. This week on BBC’s Panorama the topic was an anti-vaccine video called Ask the Experts that’s been doing the rounds on social media. It apparently contains health professionals claiming vaccines are unsafe with one person saying it can alter a person’s DNA, another person says it’s a fake pandemic and another refers to “Gates and his conspiracy terrorists” as having created the vaccine to sterilise men, women, and unborn children. These claims are all false. This is extraordinary stuff to hear from “health experts” and it undermines the entire vaccine process. That someone could convince another person not to take a potentially life-saving vaccine by literally making up rubbish should be a criminal offence. How people can believe it is also mind-boggling and perhaps points to shortcomings in our education system.
This week people in Europe have been rejecting the Oxford vaccine. They’re not turning up for appointments and the vaccine is sitting unused in vials. This is extraordinary given the recent row between Europe and AstraZeneca over supply. From what I understand people are rejecting it because of concerns about efficacy and side-effects. It’s true the Oxford vaccine has a lower efficacy when compared with some of the other candidates like Pfizer but when it comes to preventing hospitalisation and death it was shown to be 100% effective in trials. You can’t get any better than that. The side-effects people have reported are nothing to worry about. It is not uncommon to get a headache or to feel tired according to the UK government website.
If people in Europe don’t want the Oxford vaccine then send it back! I’ll take it. If it means I can be bumped up the queue then that’s great. What can be better than avoiding hospitalisation and death, reducing transmission of the virus in the community – the Oxford vaccine has been shown to reduce transmission – and opening up our schools and economy? I want to get back to normal again and if having a headache for a day or so will help make that happen then sign me up! It’s definitely better than catching the disease and potentially ending up dead, or even worse, never tasting chocolate ever again. What a tragedy that would be. Loss of smell affects our health and quality of life. Plus I’m rather partial to a good block of chocolate. Vegan of course.