Vaccinations (Debate)

Rosemary Bennett

Sun 10 Jan 2021, 21:30 (last edited on Tue 23 Mar 2021, 20:50)

Christine, thanks so much for the response.

Christine Battersby
👍 5

Sun 10 Jan 2021, 15:00

Rosemary, Since penicillin is not on the list of things that those taking the Pfizer vaccines should be cautious about, there's no obvious reason why people who have an allergy to penicillin should be concerned. 

On my post on Dec 23rd on this thread, I gave a couple of links to information about allergies that should be a matter of concern to those offered the Pfizer vaccine. The Oxford vaccine has, in any case, been approved for people with allergies.

A more recent link is here: .

Rosemary Bennett
👍 1

Fri 8 Jan 2021, 13:55

Is anyone here allergic to penicillin? If so, are you happy to have the Pfizer vaccine? Just wondering?

veronica robinson
👍 8

Thu 7 Jan 2021, 20:34

Teachers and retail workers and anybody who has to deal with public are doing a wonderful and courageous job as they put themselves at risk of catching the virus every time they go to work.  The statistics show that almost 90% of deaths and hospitalisation were among people aged 65 and over.  If this figure can be greatly reduced by vaccinating the over 65s, the NHS would not be overwhelmed, with some at breaking point, with Covid patients.  This would mean the NHS would be able to carry out cancer services and routine operations which at present hospitals in many areas are unable to do.

Leah Fowler
👍 8

Thu 7 Jan 2021, 18:47

Mandy , a lot of people that I have spoken to think that teachers,  retail workers all people that work with the public should be vaccinated first, not elderly people,  but these people do not go on the Forum,  I certainly think so as my daughter and granddaughter work with 16-18 year olds . We have a lot of respect for all of you.

Tony Morgan
👍 7

Thu 7 Jan 2021, 16:04

Mandy I'm sure everyone really appreciates the Co Op contribution during the last 9 months

Mandy cooper
👍 5

Thu 7 Jan 2021, 14:51

Thank you Phil it’s the first time retail workers have got a mention in the covid vacation. As we don’t matter we’re bottom of the list which I don’t understand. Let’s hope it all goes as it should. 

Tony Morgan
👍 1

Thu 7 Jan 2021, 14:41

Nice thought Phil, just needs someone to work out how to administer it!

Phil Morgan
👍 7

Thu 7 Jan 2021, 14:03

I am retired and I have almost entirely stayed in Charlbury for 10 months. I have a house with a garden, no mortgage and a decent pension. So, I am extremely fortunate.

Being 70 plus, I guess I will be offered a vaccine fairly soon. BUT, is that entirely sensible? I think there should be many people in the queue before me.

I'm thinking about teachers. the police, food shop workers, postal workers, firemen, binmen, etc, the list could go on and on.

I can stay home for a few more months because I can afford to. We need all our key workers to be there for 'normal' services to continue. They should be vaccinated before me so that they can be there for me as and when I need them.

I know that I can't 'donate' my vaccination to a key worker but I wish I could.

Steve Jones
👍 2

Tue 5 Jan 2021, 17:04

Phil, I think you will find it's anti-radicalisation training. At least I hope so...

As for the bureaucracy, then whilst I'm sure it's the worst of it that is reported, then I'm sure it's a very real thing. It's notable that Israel managed to vaccinate about 10% of its population in a couple of weeks from a standing start. That, in UK terms, would be about 4 million a week. I believe to do that they had to treat it like a military exercise. It was a 7 day a week process with 24 hour working. It probably requires a different mindset to working through normal channels.

I suspect just the Christmas/New Year period has delayed the UK schedule by a good 10 days.

Phil Morgan
👍 2

Tue 5 Jan 2021, 15:34

There was an interesting phone-in on Radio 4's 'You and Yours' earlier today. A couple of callers recounted their experience when they offered to volunteer as vaccinators. 

Apparently they had to complete on-line courses before being deemed acceptable. These took up to 10 hours to complete and included items on Fire Safety and Radicalisation Training....!

How bureaucratic can you get? I thought this was a crisis. 

Steve Jones
👍 2

Wed 23 Dec 2020, 14:50 (last edited on Wed 23 Dec 2020, 14:57)

I was interested in that bit about Edward Lyster having discovered the use of cow pox before Jenner (news to me), and what I found was that he was offering inoculation. There is a technical difference between inoculation and vaccination, although in modern usage, they are terms often used interchangeably (and especially in the USA). Inoculation is when immunity is developed from the actual active pathogenic agent, whilst vaccination does not involve the active pathogen. For example, by a related, but relatively benign, pathogen (as with cow pox), or a de-activated or attenuated pathogen. Now we have mRNA vaccines for COVID-10 (Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna) and genetically engineered viral vector vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca).

What existed before Jenner, was a practice that was used in the Ottoman empire and parts of asia called variolation, With smallpox that involved inoculating people with material taken from patients with the aim of giving them a mild case of the actual disease (not without its risks of course). I wonder if what Edward Lyster was offering was inoculation via variolation rather than the use of cowpox.

The following is a link about variolation for smallpox being offered as inoculation in Britain in the 18th century.

"Early in the 18th century, variolation (referred to then as ‘inoculation’) was introduced to Britain and New England to protect people likely to be at risk of infection with smallpox."

I found this description of early 18th century inoculation (variolation) against smallpox
"In Britain, Europe and the American Colonies the preferred method was rubbing material from a smallpox pustule from a selected mild case (Variola minor) into a scratch between the thumb and forefinger."

If so, I would question the claim that Edward Lyster (who would not be alone) discovered vaccination with cowpox before Edward Jenner. They are rather different things.

Robin Taylor

Wed 23 Dec 2020, 14:08 (last edited on Wed 23 Dec 2020, 14:13)

The report in the news section says the vaccinations aren’t organised by the Charlbury medical centre, so I assume they will be combined with the group of practices that Charlbury is linked with, which includes Witney, Burford and Carterton, I think.

Charlie M
👍 4

Wed 23 Dec 2020, 13:59

This is how it appeared in The Charlbury Chronicle of June 1997:


Smallpox was a deadly scourge for centuries. Queen Elizabeth was badly pockmarked by it, and Queen Mary II died of it in 1694. Charlbury benefited from the arrival here in 1766 of an apothecary, Edward Lyster (died 1804), who advertised his skill in inoculating against it, and set up an isolation house in Patch Riding, Finstock. Edward Jenner of Berkeley, Glos (1749-1823) is always credited with the discovery that scratching the skin with a tool impregnated with calf lymph produced antibodies to fight the disease, but Edward Lyster among others had discovered it first.

In 1853 the vaccination of children was made compulsory by law. Poor hygiene meant that many died as a result, and by 1896 mounting opposition resulted in the setting up of a Royal Commission of Enquiry into its effects. Before its report was published the law continued to be enforced, and ten Charlbury parents were fined 13/6d for failure to obey. They refused to pay, and on February 6th 1897 a Superintendent of Police and nine constables descended simultaneously on the homes of nine of the parents, marking items to sell to cover the fine and costs. The Town Cryer was sent round to announce that the auction would begin at 12.30, and a large crowd, accompanied by the Charlbury Brass Band, gathered at the bottom of Church Street, outside Dan Kitching's house. The noise was so great that no bids could be heard, and the Chief Constable decided that no sale had been made. The band played 'Rule Britannia' almost non-stop, and the crowd moved up to The Bull where items belonging to W. H. Baughan, Thomas Lainchbury and F. T. Horniblow were held up. The only bid made was £1 for a Horniblow table, but the bidder was nearly lynched. Before order could be restored an enthusiastic bandsman blew his cornet into a constable's ear and in the resulting scuffle the mouthpiece was broken off and a window was broken. The crowd then moved quietly along Sheep Street where a young man was lying gravely ill, but at Hixet Wood the noise broke out again, and rotten eggs, mud, flour and rice were thrown about. Marked furniture from the homes of Winter and Siford had to be returned, and the crowd and the now perspiring band marched through Fishers lane to the Playing Close. At blacksmith Walter Widdows' (Anvil Cottage) the noise was augmented by two of his men beating a sheet of iron, and his double perambulator was not sold. At Edward Widdows' (Elmstead), to the great amusement of the crowd, a bag of flour burst on the head of the auctioneer, who took on a piebald appearance. No sale was made, nor was there a bid for a sewing machine owned by Haynes on Market Street. That was the last on the list and everyone trooped down Dyers' Hill to Sgt. Timms' police station in Church Lane. The auctioneer (E. J. Brooks of Oxford) escaped out of the back door, reached his conveyance and returned to Oxford.

The same evening, effigies of the auctioneer and the cattle dealer who had made the only bid were burnt on a bonfire in the Playing Close along with a dead calf, signifying the vaccine.

At the Oxford Summer Assizes, 19 men were brought before the Lord Chief Justice accused of riotous assembly and 12 of them were accused of conspiracy to defeat the course of justice. Defence Counsel argued that most of them had only come to listen to the band. They all pleaded guilty to unlawful assembly, and the Judge bound them over to keep the peace. Shortly after, the law on compulsory vaccination was repealed.

(A fuller and rather amusing report of this event in the Oxford Times of 13 February 1897 can be seen in the museum.)

Steve Jones
👍 1

Wed 23 Dec 2020, 13:33

It's worth noting that Charlbury Medical Centre has posted a news item about supplies of vaccination which should be arriving in the new year, and they are hoping to offer them in January and February, presumably with the over 80s first.

I assume that there must be a way of splitting the packs up between clinics as there are almost 1,000 doses in the so-called "pizza box" containers, and they all have to be used up withing 3 days. There certainly aren't 1,000 people in the top priority in Charlbury.

I assume that it will be in priority group order, but no doubt some overlaps. I'm in priority group 5, so not counting on being vaccinated particularly early, but I will be there at the first opportunity.

Christine Battersby

Wed 23 Dec 2020, 12:56

On the EpiPen question, I understand that the current advice is that if it is carried for insect allergies there is no need to refuse/be refused the vaccine. 

There's a page about what should be of concern (especially polyethylene glycol) and what can be ignored  here:

or here also:

Richard Fairhurst
(site admin)

Wed 23 Dec 2020, 08:23

Yes, do!

Charlie M

Wed 23 Dec 2020, 05:09 (last edited on Wed 23 Dec 2020, 05:11)

Nick, the account of the Charlbury Vaccination Riots is without doubt the best story that has ever appeared in the Charlbury Chronicle (Volume 1 Issue 2 - June 1997 - I have the full set!). It is an account so colourful that I would love to have seen it dramatised on TV; I think that a dearly-loved local man who is sadly no longer with us, Ronnie Barker, would have made a brilliant auctioneer!
I transcribed the account years ago to send to my brother (I think it was); I would be happy to regurgitate it here if people would like me to? Richard?

Nick Johnson
👍 5

Tue 22 Dec 2020, 23:02

A few vignettes on vaccination.

1. On Saturday, my elderly sister in Oxford was due for a COVID vaccination. The doctor asked if she carried an Epipen. She said yes and the doctor suggested she should not have the vaccination at this time until "things are clearer". I think the Epipen question may be a rough and ready way of selecting out those who have allergies.

2. The proportion of  those from BAME communities who say they will not have the vaccine is considerably higher than other communities. I think if I had been subjected to the climate of hostility for the last couple of decades, I might think twice when this Government asks me to have an injection in my arm.

3. Amidst the varying success rates of the competing vaccines, one fact seems not to have  surfaced much. As I understand it, in none of the vaccine trials has any person given the vaccine contracted Covid seriously. That seems to me to the real good news.

4. I've recently rediscovered, thanks to the Charlbury museum, the story of the Charlbury antivaccination riot of 1897. Ten Charlburians refused to have the compulsoy smallpox vaccine and were duly fined 13 shillings each. They refused to pay. The riot came about when bailliffs arrived, seized property to the value of 13s. from each person and attempted to sell them by auction. I have the story if anyone is interested . Also a copy of the wonderful 1897 anti vaccination poster supporting the Charlbury Ten. I wanted to put it up in my window, but was warned that some of the madder antivaccers might take it seriously.

Steve Jones
👍 3

Sun 20 Dec 2020, 11:20

This is a historic moment, as it might be the first recorded occasion on which I've been in complete agreement with Rachael. However, never mind, normal service will no doubt be resumed once the pestilence is behind us.

Rachael Gibbon
👍 7

Fri 18 Dec 2020, 15:07

People who are at risk of anaphylactic shock carry an adrenaline pen to buy them approx 20 mins till they can get urgent medical assistance. The adrenaline pen doesn't fix the problem, it just helps their body deal with the shock so their organs don't give in before they can get medical assistance.  People who have had anaphylaxis are advised not to have the Pfizer vaccine based on results of the trials. That is medical, not anecdotal advice and they should follow it. In addition, I am informed the vaccine is stored in vials with rubber stoppers which means people with life-threatening latex allergy, i.e. again with a history of anaphylaxis should not have this particular vaccine until a workaround is developed. Everyone else of course can have it. Hopefully the other pending vaccines won't have these restrictions so everyone can be protected ASAP. It goes without saying that if anyone is in any doubt about whether this applies to them they should probably ignore this thread entirely and seek actual medical advice!

stephen cavell
👍 2

Fri 18 Dec 2020, 14:26

Hannen yes hadn't thought of that. Lets do it. 

Better get off this now before we are deemed a distraction to the main theme of this thread and removed.

Hamish Nichol
👍 2

Fri 18 Dec 2020, 13:59

From my (maybe basic?) understanding the four serious adverse reactions were all people with a history of very serious allergic reactions and as such carried adrenaline pens for such events, so I'd have thought their reaction was potentially nothing to do with a particular known allergen within the vaccine.

The vaccine is *safe* otherwise it wouldn't have been given approval. So there's no need to wait for a safe jab as it's already here - it may be difficult to handle from factory to syringe but after injection our lives will be far safer with it! 

Hannen Beith
👍 1

Fri 18 Dec 2020, 13:26 (last edited on Fri 18 Dec 2020, 13:27)


Interesting.  I shall be first in line!

I wonder if the brandy should be taken before the jab is administered, as a prophylactic?

Wendy Bailey
👍 2

Fri 18 Dec 2020, 12:19

Let's hope the number who do get vaccinated  are sufficient then. I believe it's to be 80% of the population ? Enough to slow the spread and control it until a safe for all jab is available.   I'm sure someone will know if that's right

Our wonderful scientists are working their best for us. Thanks to all of you. 

stephen cavell
👍 4

Fri 18 Dec 2020, 10:50

Wonder if you are in the mood for a personal anecdote relating to vaccinations?  You are well here goes. During our forty years overseas, living in countries with questionable access to all sorts of tropical diseases we were subject to all sorts of vaccinations/innoculations/pilltakingone; one incident I remember well. Trish & I plus two teenagers were lined up in front of Dr Jules Jenson (rip) to each have five injections; got to number three and the needle hit a nerve that sent shock waves down one side of my body. After a couple of minutes with my head between my knees Dr Jenson says here the anti-dote and advanced on me with a blue ribbed medicine bottle, quick one gulp. This gave me the second shock wave IT was brandy at 10am and I recovered to go on to take the last 2 injections. Moral - don't fret about reactions - take a hip flask of brandy with you!!

Steve Jones
👍 12

Thu 17 Dec 2020, 22:35 (last edited on Fri 18 Dec 2020, 15:32)

I understand the advice is that those who have a history of severe allergic reactions avoid the vaccine. By that I don't mean those who get a runny nose from being near a cat (which is me) or get a rash from a sticking plaster, but those who have have gone into anaphylactic shock from some allergen.

Allergic reactions to vaccines, or other pharmaceuticals are hardly unknown. People allergic to eggs can't have 'flu shots, penicillin allergies are common enough that it's a standard question people are asked before being prescribed the drug.

The idea of "pulling" the vaccine because of 4 allergic reactions out of what must be at least 250,000 vaccinations by now worldwide doesn't make sense. In several European countries, something like one in a thousand of the population have died of COVID-19, so that would be 250 people out of those vaccinated. That's even before we taken into account that most of those 250,000 are in the most vulnerable age groups, and there we are looking at more than 1% of those over 80 have died, so that's more like 2,500.

No effective drug or vaccine is 100% safe. Life isn't, but we can weigh up the odds.

Wendy Bailey
👍 3

Thu 17 Dec 2020, 19:13

Interesting hearing those against at the moment due to allergies and that's totally understandable. And those who are vulnerable hoping to be first in the distances que. The vaccines will certainly improve in time. But not all of us can wait. 

Liz Leffman
👍 3

Thu 17 Dec 2020, 17:54 (last edited on Thu 17 Dec 2020, 17:57)

It's my understanding that the way that vaccination centres are being set up allows space for people to wait for 15 minutes before they leave in case they have a reaction, in which case they can be treated on the spot. I believe that is the case for the Pfizer vaccine, as that was the one that people reacted to.

Charlie M
👍 4

Thu 17 Dec 2020, 17:17

For myself, being classed as "at risk" in four different ways, I shall most certainly be taking it as and when it is offered. Needs must.

One question that no one has answered yet (to my knowledge): if someone has an allergic reaction to the vaccine, are they still protected?

From what I can gather, most reactions take the form of an anaphylactic reaction, and these are treatable, so I think that they need to set up a "hotline" for people who might have problems or reactions; but this must be organised properly, unlike most of the ways that this excuse for a government has handled the Covid crisis.

With that proviso, and IF it is shown that people who have reactions are still protected, then I would be in favour of making vaccination compulsory.

Harriet Baldwin
👍 1

Thu 17 Dec 2020, 16:45

Given that it's caused allergic reactions in 4 people now the sensible thing would be to pull it unless they're keen on a) giving fuel to antivaccers,  b) opening themselves to the possibility of litigation. 

Since I have an allergy that ENT can't identify and my next appointment has been pushed back to June, plus having had to go to A&E with a reaction to wasp sting, I'm refusing it until they can prove to me it won't cause an allergic response. 

Phil Morgan

Thu 17 Dec 2020, 16:25

According to news reports, 30% or more of the population are "unsure" about accepting the vaccine as and when it is offered.

There is, of course, a right to refuse as part of our civil liberties entitlement. Then again, under emergency powers, a government could legislate to compel its population to comply.

I would be very interested to hear the views of other debaters.

Richard Tebbutt

Fri 11 Dec 2020, 20:39


Wendy Bailey
👍 10

Fri 11 Dec 2020, 20:09

On the BBC news, the possibility that scientists are willing to work  together with another country with a covid vaccination for the greater good of the world population. Pity politicians can't fo the same and remember  what is really important. The human race.

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