A GP in Tameside, England said that he was shocked and disappointed after knowing the fact that two of his trainee doctors rejected the COVID-19 vaccination as they believed in some false claims regarding the side effects.
This revelation comes while Dr. Asad Ali, who co-chairs the Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), proposed to launch a COVID-19 vaccine hotline in the area. The main agenda behind this proposal was to advise people and clear their doubts regarding vaccine doses.
Earlier this week during a meeting, he said that the hotline service would take the pressure off GP switchboards and reception staff. Currently, many people are seeking online assistance, asking several questions regarding the vaccine.
But the hotline service is necessary as fake news and misconception about the jabs continue to spread in communities—including some bizarre claims such as vaccines would cause fertility issues and people would turn homosexual.
As reported by Manchester Evening News, Dr. Ali said: "Obviously you should have it [vaccine] but a lot of people aren't convinced and they want a conversation with a professional. There are some crazy rumors out there and they are coming to us."
According to him, in many cases, people who are under the massive risk of contracting the novel Coronavirus, choose random reasons to support their decision against the vaccination.
"Just within my practice two of my trainees, BAME origin like myself, two of these trainees, despite me telling them that the vaccine is absolutely important to have, they've chosen not to have the vaccine," said Dr. Ali.
"Now that's pretty shocking. And that's very disappointing – and they're doctors, so trying to win this argument with non-doctors is going to be harder. So I just wondered if we could have some resource to tackle this difficult area," he added.
The Hotline Service
Dr. Ali believes that the hotline service could help to make people believe in vaccination and later they could inspire more people to take the jab—which is extremely necessary to end the Coronavirus pandemic. "The message would get out there that the vaccine is genuinely safe," he said.
A GP at the Cottage Lane Surgery in Glossop, Dr. Alan Dow called the hotline service a "good idea". Along with Dr. Ali, while speaking at this week's meeting of the primary care committee, Dr. Dow said: "I'm sure all our practices are getting quite a few legitimate questions each day about what should I do' and they are coming through our phone lines."
"One minute we're speaking to someone whose breathing's got worse and the next we're talking to someone who is asking a very legitimate knowledge-based question about the vaccination and a central resource to do that with somebody who is clued up and well informed I think would be useful," he explained.
However, the primary care committee has agreed to investigate the possibility of using money from the COVID-19 communications budget for a project focusing on answering vaccine-related questions. The decision was made after Karen Huntley, who sits on the CCG governing body as a lay member, said that the only way to understand the barriers of vaccination is to listen to people and it would help to overcome such obstacles.