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'My husband died in Covid vaccine reaction': Caller condemns mandatory jabs policy
16 June 2021, 18:30
This caller's husband, a 32 year old doctor, died in an extremely rare reaction to the Covid vaccine. She condemns the idea that care workers should be "forced" to have the jab.
It comes after Matt Hancock announced that coronavirus jabs will be made compulsory for care home staff in England, branding it a "sensible and reasonable step."
He also confirmed there are considerations ongoing on whether to extend the measure to all NHS staff.
Caller Charlotte told Shelagh, "My husband died of the vaccine in January. He was 32 and a doctor and the coroner is going through an inquest at the moment.
"The Government has come out with an adverse reaction called vaccine-induced thrombosis...which is what he died of. Where I know it is a rare side effect, I do not agree with forcing people to be vaccinated."
Her husband had a clot and died with very low platelets, which were so "shocking" he could not even have brain surgery, she said, yet prior to the jab he had been a completely healthy young man.
Shelagh asked whether she accepted that refusing to be vaccinated "has consequences when you're a carer."
"I do, but then at the same time I think people should have freedom of choice," Charlotte said, to which Shelagh countered they will have freedom of choice.
"But then they won't have a job," the caller said.
Shelagh said, "Some jobs require certain things, don't they? They just do. You can't get away from it Charlotte. Some jobs require certain things of us."
Charlotte told Shelagh that her husband was on the front line so he did have a responsibility, "but forcing people to or they lose their job is a bit much for a vaccine."
Shelagh asked: "Do you think it's legitimate to say to a person yes these things happen, here are examples...but here is the rate at which these rare things happen? Here is the risk of the contraceptive pill, and here is the risk from pregnancy, vastly vastly bigger, then the risk from the vaccine, yet that gets very little attention."
Charlotte said that what she supports most is raising awareness and she treads "a very fine line" between being pro- and anti-vaccine, experiencing trolls on both sides.
A number of care groups and unions have hit out against compulsory jabs, questioning the ethics of the decision and warning it could harden opposition in those who are hesitant to be vaccinated.
The UK's human rights watchdog - the Equality and Human Rights Commission - has however concluded it is "reasonable" to legally require care home staff to be vaccinated.
But it did advise that safeguards should be included to minimise the risk of discrimination by including exemptions, such as for staff who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
Official figures suggest more than 150,000 NHS workers - slightly more than ten per cent - have not been jabbed, while just over 50,000 care home workers are unvaccinated. However, the figure varies between regions and there are some concerns about vaccine rates among people from ethnic minorities.