Dr Hilary Jones has said it is ‘unethical’ for an unvaccinated doctor to continue refusing the Covid jab while working with vulnerable patients.
NHS staff member Dr Steve James went viral last week after he confronted Health Secretary Sajid Javid over Covid vaccinations becoming mandatory for healthcare workers from April.
In the clip, Dr James stated: ‘I’ve not had a vaccination; I don’t want to have a vaccination.’
However, he has since appeared on Good Morning Britain to insist he isn’t an anti-vaxxer despite his decision not to get the jab.
Speaking to Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley on Wednesday, Dr James said: ‘I’m not anti-vaxx because I’ve seen a great, great benefit from the vaccines. There’s been a huge reduction in the number of seriously ill patients and vaccinations have almost certainly made the largest contribution to that.
‘The difference between me giving my own personal reason as to why I wouldn’t have the vaccine, and why the vaccines in general are good. As a doctor I’m not anti-surgery, it doesn’t mean that surgery’s what I need to have. For a population it would be good to offer certain treatments, it doesn’t mean that everyone needs to have those treatments.’
When Richard asked him point-blank why he was refusing the vaccine, Dr James stated: ‘Personally, I’m a fit and well man, I’m not elderly, I was exposed to Covid on multiple occasions in hospital settings and I wasn’t getting sick.
‘I thought, well the vaccines are out there now, they’ll go to the elderly and vulnerable, and I was surprised to see that there wasn’t a point where instead of offering it to everyone, we’re now going to offer it in a nuanced way.’
However, Dr Hilary challenged the doctor on his views and said the ‘vast majority of doctors and scientists think the science is strong enough to support vaccination and mandatory vaccination for NHS staff in contact with patients’.
The TV medical expert continued: ‘By his own admission he’s got antibodies, so at some point he’s been in contact with coronavirus and has been capable of transmitting coronavirus to the sickest patients in society in intensive and critical care.
‘Having not been vaccinated, he is likely to have a higher viral load when he’s been infectious, and to carry that virus for longer. All the science shows that transmission in an unvaccinated person is likely to carry on for longer than it would in a vaccinated person.’
Dr Hilary added: ‘He talks about the risk to himself, there is an ethical duty for doctors under the GMC regulations in communicable diseases to immunise yourself to protect the risk to your patients and clearly that isn’t happening here.’
Richard chimed in and told Dr James: ‘Dr Hilary has essentially just said your behaviour is, if you like, selfish, you’re putting patients at risk.’
According to the Government, two doses of the Pfizer or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were more effective than one dose at preventing symptomatic infection. The booster vaccine provided over 90% protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.