An NHS doctor has claimed that patients are refusing the American/German Pfizer-BioNTech injection to “wait for the English one” instead.
Doctor Paul Williams, who is also the former Labour MP for Stockton South, claimed: “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,” he said, according to a Metro report from Thursday.
The United Kingdom’s priority phase of vaccinations includes the elderly, care home residents, frontline medical and care staff, and those with serious medical conditions.
The GP later clarified that vulnerable “nationalists” who refuse the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would not be removed from the priority list, only that they will have to wait for the AstraZeneca vaccine to be available in their area. The AstraZeneca product was developed in partnership with the University of Oxford and was approved for use in the United Kingdom on December 30th, with the rollout to the public beginning on January 4th.
The British government was the first in the Western world to clear a coronavirus vaccine — the Pfizer shot — for public use and they began to be administered in December. While the German-American vaccine costs £15 a dose and needs to be kept at -70 degrees Celcius, the British-made vaccination costs as little as £2 to £3 and can be stored in an ordinary fridge.
The British government announced on Friday that a third vaccine by Moderna had also received approval. So far, 1.5 million Britons have been vaccinated with either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca product. The government has ordered some 157 million doses, 100 million by Oxford, 40 million by Pfizer, and 17 million by Moderna. Trial stages for products by Janssen, GSK/Sanofi, Novavax, and Valneva are still ongoing, according to Guido Fawkes.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made the successful and widespread rollout of vaccinations a condition for lifting England’s lockdown, along with falling numbers of Chinese coronavirus cases. The Tory leader would not commit to an end date to the third lockdown in ten months, giving a soft date of some time in mid-February, “but only if things go well”.
The following day, senior minister Michael Gove pushed that date back to an unspecified day in March, with the bill committed into law on Wednesday naming March 31st as its expiration — meaning that the lockdown could last almost three months.
Earlier this month, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said that being vaccinated would not mean the end of social distancing and that some form of restriction would remain in place for months.