'I would give these vaccines to my family': Scarborough GP on why you must get the Covid jab

Scarborough residents can help rescue the country from the pandemic by getting their coronavirus vaccines.

By Sarah Fitton
Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 12:58 pm
Central Healthcare Staff Nurse Diana Wilkinson carries out a vaccination at Scarborough Rugby Club.
Central Healthcare Staff Nurse Diana Wilkinson carries out a vaccination at Scarborough Rugby Club.

That is the message from a local senior GP who is stressing the importance of people booking their jabs and getting protection against what he described as a “potentially devastating multi-system disorder”.

“It’s not a bad cold. It’s not just the flu,” said Alastair Crosswaite, GP partner at Central Healthcare.

“And it’s not just the elderly who are affected. With the Kent variation, my colleagues in the South were seeing a much younger age group of patients in intensive care units.

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GP partner at Central Healthcare Alastair Crosswaite

“You can’t predict it.

“We don’t want significant pockets of the population who aren’t taking up the vaccine.

“If a sub group opts out of having the vaccine then that is a risk to everyone.”

Tens of thousands of Scarborough residents have already had their first immunisations and Dr Crosswaite said the roll out of the vaccination programme locally has been a huge success.

He said amazing volunteers, local managers and the creation of a vaccine hub at Scarborough Rugby Club have played a huge part in that.

But, across the country, there are some groups who have been identified as high risk where there has been a lower level of vaccine take-up.

In Scarborough, he and his team have not seen the same numbers of over 80s booking in for their second jabs as they did for the first round of immunisations.

In case this is because older patients are worried about booking online or that the text messages they have received are scams, the practice is now ringing pensioners to invite them for their vaccine.

It is also planning a pop-up vaccination centre in Eastfield where there are several patients who are reluctant to travel to the rugby club.

Dr Crosswaite was keen to address some myths which may be causing vaccine-hesitancy for some, including concerns that have been raised about the AstraZeneca jab and reported links to blood clots.

When vaccinating millions of people, he said clinical reporting is heightened.

“Vaccines are safe,” he stressed.

“I would vaccinate my family with AstraZeneca. I would give these vaccines to my family.

“People are asking about the vaccines being accelerated but the basic mechanism was already in place.

“We need to put everything in perspective.

“If people are concerned then there is a doctor available at vaccine centres to answer their questions.”

He said the risks posed by catching coronavirus are very worrying.

In some cases, Covid-19 can lead to severe symptoms across the whole body - including stroke, kidney problems and liver issues.

Dr Crosswaite said getting vaccinated helps protect against the risk of serious illness from coronavirus, and there is increasing evidence to show that it can stop the spread, even in asymptomatic cases.

“By getting vaccinated you are not just protecting yourself, your loved ones and those you come into contact with now and into the future, “ he added.

“This is how people can do their bit. The best way of supporting the country and get through the pandemic is to get vaccinated.”