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An exasperated high-profile NHS doctor has said patients are turning down the opportunity to get the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, in order to “wait for the English one”.
Former Stockton South MP, Dr Paul Williams who assesses people with coronavirus symptoms in Hartlepool and Stockton says the remarks are "a lesson that Nationalism has consequences", GetSurrey reports.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was made available to patients at the start of December, while the Oxford/AstraZeneca version was authorised on December 30.
Dr Williams was a GP before turning to politics, continued to see patients while he was an MP to maintain a link with them, and, since being voted out in 2019, has worked on the NHS’s fight against Covid-19.
In a Tweet, he wrote: “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.”
The tweet has since been shared more than 500 times and 'liked' more than 1.7k times.
He clarified that those patients will be given the Oxford vaccine later – but time might be against them.
Dr Williams told the PA news agency: “They will stay on the priority list.
“(The) Oxford (vaccine is) not yet here, but when it is it will be offered to them.
“Sometimes patients need a bit of time to make up their mind about these things, but time isn’t on our side here!”
Dr Williams was made an OBE in the New Year Honours list for his services to Parliament and healthcare.
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