Coronavirus vaccination plan under threat as Britons question ‘rushed through’ jab

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Coronavirus vaccination efforts could begin as early as December after pharmaceutical company Pfizer and partner BioNTech reported a 90 percent success rate in their clinical trials. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government will be waiting for safety data before rolling out the vaccine but NHS staff has already been warned to stand ready to administer the jab. However, a series of BBC Today programme interviews appeared to suggest Britons remain doubtful about the efficacy of the jab because of its “rushed” development.

Listener Gregory Hanley said: “I’m concerned about whether the Government would actually make it compulsory. That makes me nervous because of all the restrictions they have introduced, and almost have enforced, on the whole nation.

“If someone like me doesn’t want it, we live in a free country, I think we should have the option to take it or not to take it.

“When we had our children we always had the vaccinated against the different things but my mother did have an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine. She said it almost killed her and she gave a warning, saying, ‘Greg, be very careful.’

“So that makes me a little bit nervous. I’d like to be fully reassured that the vaccine was completely safe, really, and it seems to have been rushed.”

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Another member of the audience suggested the new typology of the vaccine should be researched further to assess the long-term impact on the human body.

Len Grates said: “It’s a new type of vaccine. It’s a vaccine, as I understand, that affects our DNA, it’s an RNA vaccine.

“It’s affecting our genetic code and we have no idea what the long-term effects of this are going to be on the human body, whether it’s going to affect future generations if it’s going to affect our DNA.

“My children have been vaccinated, I’ve been vaccinated, I’ve travelled abroad in the past and had to be vaccinated for all sorts of things, so I’m not an anti-vaxxer.

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“But I’m definitely concerned about this new type of vaccine, it’s not a traditional vaccine, it’s been rushed through and we have no proof that it works other than the what the producers are saying.”

Mr Grates added: “I know the COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis but let’s not just jump in with an urgent response to it when we are not sure.”

However, the former director of immunisation at the Department of Health, David Salisbury, dismissed suggestions the COVID-19 vaccine could affect a person’s DNA as he said the jab would only provide people’s immune system with the ability to shield from the coronavirus.

And Charlotte Richie insisted her decision on whether to be vaccinated or not will be based on a “risk-reward” assessment based on her lifestyle.

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Ms Richie said: “The effects of long-Covid are what I’m worried about, mainly.

“It might be that once we start vaccinating millions of people, a set number of people have lung problems in the long term.

“To me, it’s really a risk-reward analysis, I’m a happy 27-year-old, I’ve probably been already exposed to the virus, I’m pretty certain and I don’t spend a lot of time with vulnerable people.

“If there’s any uncertainty or risk attached to this vaccine, which I’m not sure there is not, it’s something I would rather not do.”

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