An increasing number of our patients have had their first coronavirus vaccines, and now people in their 50s are being invited to attend for a vaccine. The programme is going well, and this, together with the emerging evidence that the vaccines are working with the lockdown to reduce infection rates, is tremendous news. The vaccines have been shown to make covid less severe, and the AstraZeneca vaccine shows evidence of reducing transmission – a major reason why as many people as possible should have the vaccine.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford and Pfizer vaccines remain very safe medicines. Sadly, adverse publicity about suspected adverse reactions, sometimes stoked by politics and ‘vaccine nationalism’ gain undue prominence. It is important to understand that after any new drug is launched, that the regulatory authorities (in this case the MHRA) monitor all suspected adverse reactions to decide whether they are linked to the drug. At the time of writing, 23 million people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. So far, the risk of a serious adverse reaction such as anaphylaxis is extremely low, and no major proven problems have been found with either vaccine. We must remember that illnesses and incidents will occur whether someone has had the vaccine or not, and so it is important to make sure that the vaccines are not wrongly blamed for events.
A further community mass vaccination centre has opened at Whitemoor Lakes, Alrewas to supplement the Pirelli Stadium and Uttoxeter racecourse venues and will further increase capacity. Most vaccines in East Staffordshire are being given at the 3 community centres, however we are still occasionally supplied with vaccines to be given on the Surgery premises or for the housebound. Second vaccine doses have started and will follow the same order as first doses. You will be contacted when it is your turn.
From time to time, we get comments and complaints about the infection prevention measures adopted at the surgery, including the cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and the fact that many consultations are conducted, at least initially, remotely. I have heard it described as ‘over the top.’ We make no apologies for our exacting standards and will continue to ensure the safety of our patients and staff remains our priority whilst continuing to provide medical care to the best of our ability. Too many patients and health care workers have died or are suffering the after-effects of covid for us to change course now. We ask for your understanding.
We, at the Surgery, would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and