‘Vaccine refuseniks are playing Russian Roulette with their health’


by ANDREA JENKINS



People refusing to take a coronavirus vaccine are playing Russian Roulette with their health, according to a Brunel University lecturer.

Kenn Toft, 41, who received the Pfizer jab earlier this year, said: “If people choose not to take the vaccine then they are foolish and playing roulette with their health.”

Mr Toft, who has taught shorthand to Brunel student journalists for several years, insisted that the vaccine process was very simple and said he had no side effects.

His views were echoed by another journalism lecturer, Beowulf ‘Wulfie’ Mayfield, 56, who has already received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Mr Mayfield, who teaches technical skills to journalists, said he trusted the medical professionals despite the fears in some European countries that the vaccine had caused blood clots. Pic: CDC on Unsplash


“The world needs to get back to some form of normality and I am happy to trust the medical experts and professionals to perform the work they have been trained to do. I will also continue to ignore all untrained, unqualified non-professionals and conspiracy theorists,” he said.

Both Mr Mayfield and Mr Toft were given vaccines early because of pre-existing health problems.

Journalism first year student, Desiree Torres, 24, also received the AstraZeneca vaccine as she is high risk and caught the virus back in March. She described the experience of catching coronavirus as ‘one of the worst experiences of my life’ and encouraged people to receive the vaccine.

“I wasn't sure if I wanted to take the vaccine. When the vaccination started, it all seemed a little bit scary. However, after Christmas we had more information, I also did some research on it and I felt like I was ready to have it,” she said.

Speaking shortly after several European countries temporarily suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to fear of blood clots, she said : “Following the latest news I understand most people feel scared to take the vaccine now. But if you think about it, there are so many medicines that have similar side effects, for instance the birth control pill and it's very normalised. Personally, I believe taking the vaccine is the only way to stop the virus and slowly go back to what we consider ‘normal life’. As long as it's safe I definitely encourage people to take it and help to end this situation as soon as possible.”

Several European countries restarted AstraZeneca after the European Medicines Agency concluded it was safe to use.

As we went to press, more than 28 million UK residents had been vaccinated with the first dose. More than 126,000 people have died from the virus in the UK so far. Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi stated on gov.uk, the Government website: “The basic principle that sits behind it is to save as many lives as possible, as quickly as possible. It’s also essential we reduce hospitalisations from this disease, so we can reduce the pressure on our NHS.”

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