Not being vaccinated is a greater risk to health, says Calderdale GP

A Calderdale GP is urging people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations and is confident that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, and other approved vaccines, are totally safe.

By Tom Scargill
Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 2:57 pm

Some European countries have temporarily paused the use of the vaccine as a precautionary measure, following reports of blood clots in a small number of people who had recently had the vaccine.

Dr Fawad Azam, a GP at Stainland Road Medical Centre and Clinical Director of Calder and Ryburn Primary Care Network, is urging people to be vaccinated as soon as they have the opportunity.

He said: “There is no evidence that the blood clots have been associated with the vaccine. Our UK regulator, the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority, has said that they are confident the vaccine is safe.

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Will Johnston Photography 13012021 - Sassy Films - NHS Covid-19 Vaccination centre at Boots, Halifax

“Of almost five million people vaccinated across the countries who have temporarily stopped administering the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, around 30 cases of blood clots were reported. This is actually fewer than we’d expect to be reported in the general population.

“I’m confident in saying that your health is at far greater risk if you aren’t vaccinated against coronavirus at the earliest opportunity. These vaccines are our best chance for getting back to normal.”

Deborah Harkins, Director of Public Health, Calderdale, said: “To date, over 69,000 people have received a Covid-19 vaccination in Calderdale and more than 750,000 people have been vaccinated across West Yorkshire, and we have no evidence to suggest that any of the vaccines we’re using are unsafe.

“Emerging evidence shows that having the vaccine reduces transmission of COVID-19, so it’s essential that as many people as possible are vaccinated to prevent increased incidence of COVID-19 infection and to ultimately to save lives.

“We are now moving into the time where people need to return for their second vaccination. It’s important that people attend these appointments as two doses of the vaccine provide longer lasting protection from the virus.”

Calderdale’s vaccination programme is moving on at pace, and to date 2109 people aged 55 – 59, and 2189 50-54-year-olds have been vaccinated, and over 75 per cent of those eligible to be vaccinated in Calderdale have had at least one dose.