What are ‘vaccine passports’ and should we have them?

Recently, I was involved in a very heated television debate about vaccine passports. I will put my cards on the table now, I do not have an issue with the idea of a coronavirus vaccine passport. If vaccines help protect people from getting sick and ease lockdown measures, I will happily flash a piece of […]

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?

I have been vaccinating my patients against COVID-19 for the best part of three months now. Some have questions about the vaccine, which I am, of course, more than happy to answer, but ultimately the vast majority say they feel lucky to be offered it. But, now, there seems to be a slightly more sinister […]

Is it safe for pregnant women to have a COVID-19 vaccine?

Last week, my sister who is an NHS dentist, told me she was going to get her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While we spoke on the phone, she said she was a little apprehensive about getting it. When I asked her why she said two of the dental nurses at her surgery were […]

What is ‘vaccine nationalism’ and why is it so harmful?

The COVID-19 pandemic has already introduced new words and phrases that were rarely before used in our common vernacular: “furlough”, “social distancing”, “flattening the curve”. Now there is a new phrase in use among experts: “vaccine nationalism”. Vaccine nationalism occurs when governments sign agreements with pharmaceutical manufacturers to supply their own populations with vaccines ahead […]

Vaccinating against a shape-shifting virus

The last year has shown us what humans can achieve in what seems an impossibly short amount of time. The new COVID-19 vaccines have been produced in record time, but now there is a new danger to contend with – new strains of the virus which have appeared in at least 31 countries around the […]

Doctor’s Note: What we know about the new strain of COVID-19

The world has been watching with alarm since the United Kingdom identified a new variant of the coronavirus on December 14, which has led to a surge in new infections across the South East of the country. Since then, two other new strains of the virus have been identified in South Africa and Nigeria, with […]