Patients rejected Pfizer vaccine to wait for ‘English’ jab, says doctor

Tom Wilkinson, PA
·2-min read

A high-profile doctor has said patients turned down the chance to have the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, saying they would “wait for the English one”.

Paul Williams, former Labour MP for Stockton South, said it shows the consequences of nationalism, given they are delaying having a jab at the height of the pandemic.

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.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “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 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.