Tory MP, aged 40, defends decision to accept Covid-19 jab

The Canary

A Conservative MP who volunteered at a local hospital has defended accepting a dose of Covid-19 vaccine, despite being 40 years old.

Brendan Clarke-Smith, who represents Bassetlaw in north Nottinghamshire, was given the AstraZeneca jab on Friday after having done a shift at Retford Hospital vaccination centre.

Vaccinations are currently limited to the government’s four priority groups; the over-80s, over-70s, frontline health workers and those people classed as extremely clinically vulnerable.

Clarke-Smith said the dose he got was “left over” from that day’s vaccine stock, preventing it going to waste.

On Friday he posted about getting the jab on his Facebook account, including a picture of him posing for the camera, while a health worker administered the jab.

The MP and his family all had Covid-19 in March 2020.

In the social media post, he said: “Around 500 people are vaccinated each day and it was very encouraging to see the lengths that staff went to in order to make sure that all doses for the day were used up and not thrown away.”

💉👏🏻 Thank you to everybody at Retford Hospital, where I spent this afternoon volunteering and to thank staff for their…

Posted by Brendan Clarke-Smith MP on Friday, January 22, 2021

The MP, first elected to his constituency in the 2019 general election, said: “As a volunteer I was also asked to have a vaccine.

“Many people have asked me about the safety of vaccines and I have always said that my family and I would all have no problem having one.

“We all had Covid-19 back in March.

“Some have suggested that politicians should test them out first – although they are usually the same people who then say politicians get preferential treatment, so I suppose it’s difficult to win.”

He added: “I hope having the vaccine today will reassure people and that everybody who is offered a vaccine will take this up.”

In a statement to the PA news agency, Clarke-Smith said: “I have just started volunteering at a local vaccination centre in my constituency.

“At the end of a day of volunteering there were some left over vaccinations and rather than letting them go to waste they offered me a vaccination so I don’t put people at risk while continuing to volunteer.”

However, the post has drawn criticism from at least one of the MP’s local political opponents.

Simon Greaves, Labour leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said in a tweet: “Yesterday a 40-year-old old man volunteered at a local Covid-19 vaccination centre.

“The man was vaccinated despite thousands of local people on the Government’s priority list still waiting anxiously and patiently.

“The man was the new Conservative MP for Bassetlaw.”

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  • Show Comments
      1. “If he wants a jab, let him have one first, he and the rest of of the government too they can all be our lab rats.”
        Pretty much what he said himself: “Some have suggested that politicians should test them out first – although they are usually the same people who then say politicians get preferential treatment, so I suppose it’s difficult to win.”

    1. Honestly? I can’t get too exercised about this. I am 45 years old and had Covid-19 back in March along with my family – it was vile, really an unpleasantly debilitating and threatening illness. The ICUs are full of people in their 40s, 50s and 60s, so if this chap wants to volunteer at a vaccination centre he is braver than me, and if he can get protection against catching this bloody awful illness again, good luck to him. It may also help protect those he comes into contact with as an MP and a volunteer (the jury’s still out on that one, I understand).

      I’m not remotely optimistic about being offered a vaccination this year, but I don’t grudge it to others in my age group if they can get it. I’m Labour ’til I die, but Tories are people too (shock!)

      1. Do you mean you can’t get too excited about this issue? How many beds in ICU’s do you imagine there is available to be filled with people in their 40’s 50’s and 60’s?

        My local hospital has 11 ICU beds, yes that is ELEVEN ICU BEDS for a population of over 500,000 people.
        Yes that is over half a million people to fight over Eleven Beds.

        Since 95% of people who are in or visit at hospital are over 65. Where exactly are all the 40 and 50 year olds cluttering up the ICU departments then?
        All eleven of them.
        By the way I am so pleased that you and your family obviously recovered from the vile, debilitating and threatening illness all at home.
        Hopefully with no medical intervention whatsoever, what part of it did you feel threatened by just curious?

    2. There’s a BBC article about the age profile of hospital admissions here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55586994 If you can give me a source for your assertion that 95% of hospital admissions are aged over 65, I’ll happily stand corrected. I am not a statistician or any kind of expert.

      I agree that we don’t have enough ICU beds, I just can’t get too bothered about the MP for Bassetlaw being given a vaccine that might otherwise have gone to waste. My local Tory MP spends his time making a fool of himself on Twitter, I think I’d prefer one that volunteered at a vaccination centre.

      What was threatening about Covid-19 for me? Well, I felt like I couldn’t breathe properly during days 7-12 of my illness, and coughed up some blood. I was checked over by paramedics but happily avoided hospitalisation. Thanks for the sarcasm, btw, nice one.

      1. Oh BBC – must be true. Curious that the paramedic didn’t follow normal procedure for coughing up blood, especially as you were exhibiting all the additional symptoms that would necessitate calling an ambulance – even in the least dangerous form of coughing up blood you would have been advised to see your GP immediately had it not been for ‘lockdown’.
        (https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/conditions/coughing-blood-blood-phlegm)
        Just lucky I guess.
        All MPs should receive the experimental concoction that is being portrayed as a vaccine – as many times as it takes…

    3. Simon Greaves said, “The man was vaccinated despite thousands of local people on the Government’s priority list still waiting anxiously and patiently.”
      But were they there at the time? What would you rather Clarke-Smith had done in the circumstances?
      I’ve no love for the Tories, but slagging them off for putting vaccines to good use instead of letting them go to waste is pathetic.

      1. Seems somewhat disorganised to have a vaccine likely to go to waste when there was so much apparent eagerness in the local community to be injected with the experimental drug. Virtue signalling? While not denying that there may be MPs who are not fundamentally narcissists who live for photo opportunities – and I stress ‘may’ – in the main their ‘career’ suggests that it is a prime motivator in their daily life.

    4. There is so much that the Tories can be condemned for, but this is not one of them. I think he explained himself quite well.
      Also, while he is volunteering at the vaccination center, he is doing less damage at Westminster.

    5. I know 2 health care workers who got jabs a few weeks . One works in admin and the other is IT support at a hospital. Both in their 50s. Have a feeling also that there may be excess doses available.
      I think the MPs mistake was to advertise the fact. He should have known better.

    6. This is a non-story, stirred up by a Labour politician for political gain.

      There are a huge amount issues that we can criticise both the Tories and Labour for at the moment. This isn’t one of them. (Other than Labour shit-stiring!)

      1. This is a non-story designed solely to enrich the scamdemic narrative and stir the public imagination. The non-story tellers are completely uninterested in our individual reactions – such as my earlier facetious comment about vaccinating all MPs. Not sure I could ever agree with you little greedy dragon – you seem to reek of ‘the narrative’, but that should make you comfortably ‘normal’. You can have my jab… I’ll take my chances, which even at my age are 95+% chance of surviving this ‘deadly plague’.

    7. This has generated so much hot air we could use it so solve climate change at a stroke. If its true that the dose was left at the end of the day, presumably because someone hadn’t kept their appointment, then I really don’t care who it was given to, better to use it than wash it down the sink. I know of other people who’ve been vaccinated under similar circumstances, it’s standard practice. Let’s concentrate on the issues that should concern as as socialists not get embroiled in part political point scoring.

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