My Celebrity Life

Should I’m A Celebrity allow unvaccinated celebrities? Medical experts weigh in

I’m A Celebrity has overcome all the obstacles this year (Picture: ITV)

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! has fought against all the odds of a Covid pandemic and even a storm to bring us entertainment every night. 

This year’s line-up has boasted a string of well-known and loved faces from Richard Madeley to Dame Arlene Phillips and Frankie Bridge – even Naughty Boy has become a favourite with some viewers following a rocky start.

It’s no exaggeration to say the team behind one of ITV’s biggest reality shows have battled to keep this year’s series afloat while overcoming obstacles.

I’m A Celeb was forced off-air for three nights due to Storm Arwen causing major damage to the areas surrounding the Welsh castle and the programme’s production hub.

Producers were also forced to make the decision not to allow Madeley back into camp after he unintentionally broke the Covid bubble by leaving for a hospital visit after falling ill. Many viewers felt that if Madeley was double jabbed – which he is, as well as having received the booster – and getting tested daily, he should have been able to return to camp.

However, is that enough? And does it allow for unvaccinated celebrities to take part if they’re not already?

The medical experts suggest sleeping separately is wise to keeping Covid transmission rates low (Picture: ITV)

When approached for comment, an ITV spokesperson said they would not divulge on contestants’ health or medical history, so it’s not clear whether being double jabbed was a requirement in order for the stars to take part in this year’s series.

Sharing their medical opinion on Covid safety measures within the camp, Abbas Kanani, Medical Advisor and Superintendent Pharmacist at Chemist Click told Metro.co.uk: ‘It is imperative that these TV shows ensure that daily, regular testing is taking place by all contestants and staff alike.

‘These tests should be administered by a health professional to ensure they are done properly and to also make sure each contestant is doing the testing to avoid potential spreading of the virus.’

ITV appear to so far have done a stellar job of keeping the camp Covid-safe, evidenced by Madeley having to quit the series after leaving the bubble.

Dr Kanani feels strongly against unvaccinated stars taking part in the show, and continued: ‘A Covid bubble should help to reduce chances of someone catching the virus, however as we’ve seen many times on these shows, some people do not stick to the rules and it only takes contact with one person outside of the bubble to contract Covid.

Richard was forced to quit the series after leaving camp to go to hospital (Picture; ITV)

‘If a contestant on the show is unvaccinated, for whatever reason then they should not take part as this is not only posing risk to themselves but also their teammates.

‘If unvaccinated contestants were allowed back into the camp, then there would need to be strict safety procedures in place to ensure they are not posing risk to the other campmates. Regular testing and housing them in a separate camp area would be best, also giving them separate food, kitchenware and toilet facilities.’

However, Dr Natalie Kenny, CEO, BioGrad Diagnostics countered and said: ‘Personally, as a medical professional we would recommend that everyone gets vaccinated; however, everyone has a right to choose and we need to respect that.

‘If people test on a daily basis and if there’s no Covid going in or out of the camp, then I see no problem with letting new contestants whether they be vaccinated or unvaccinated into camp and the subsequent bubble.’

Dr Kenny noted that not all celebrities are able to get vaccinated and therefore it’s important that ‘we must not discriminate against those who aren’t eligible for health and various other reasons’.

The expert continued: ‘Regular PCR testing, which is the gold standard in our industry, is the key to provide a safe camp and from research we’ve done personally in the community recently, our mass testing has shown PCR’s pick up six times the number of positives, compared to lateral flows.

‘Regular testing and maintaining bubbles is key for the celebrities to stay safe, with mask wearing and social distancing for the camera crews and staff members also vital to keep everyone negative.’

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! returns tonight at 9pm on ITV.

 

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