Edward Grier, 70, from south west London, is encouraging everyone to get the Covid-19 vaccine after changing his mind following a chat with the NHS about the jab.
Former soldier Edward had resisted the call from the NHS and family to get protected against coronavirus, admitting that “I was an anti-vaxxer and I believed all the misinformation”.
That was until he got into a conversation with the vaccine walk-in team and met South West London Clinical Commissioning Group’s chief pharmacist in Merton Sedina Agama during a visit to the Nelson Medical Centre for a routine blood test.
She reassured and advised Mr Grier, who has underlying health issues, and he decided to go ahead with his first Covid-19 jab.
Figures released in December revealed that 97% of adults hospitalised with Covid-19 in south west London were not fully vaccinated with two doses and a booster.
Mr Grier, whose mother was an NHS nurse, said: “I was an anti-vaxxer and I believed all the misinformation about the vaccine but I could die if I get Covid because of my age and my health issues.
“I thank Sedina who gave me some very important knowledge about how safe the vaccine is. I don’t want to catch Covid and end up in the hospital. So I have changed my mind and I got my first jab and I am so happy now.
“If you are scared about getting the vaccine, please come and talk to the pharmacists, nurses and doctors because they will reassure you. You can ask them anything. Just get the vaccine and save your own life. Don’t listen to the anti-vaxxers.”
Watch or embed a video of Mr Grier talking about his experience at https://youtu.be/aVXFSXdDatY.
Daughter Heidi Price said: “We’ve been trying to get dad to take the vaccine and we are absolutely delighted that he has now got his first jab. It’s definitely helped that dad talked to someone outside the family, someone medical from the NHS.
“I urge everyone who is worried about their health conditions to go to a medical practice or a vaccine walk-in clinic and to talk to them. We all need to be vaccinated and stay safe. Thank you to the NHS and thank you to Sedina Agama for reassuring our dad. He can now start living his life again.”
GP borough lead for Merton Dr Vasa Gnanapragasam urged everyone to come forward when it is their turn and reiterated that it is never too late to get vaccinated – with clinic doors always open.
Dr Gnanapragasam said: “For those of you who haven’t had any vaccine yet, don’t worry about it. That’s history – we start here, now. Get the first dose, get some protection, get the second dose, get more protection then get a third one and get even more protection. It will save your life and it will help us to beat this virus down and then get on with our lives.”
Find a local clinic at Walk-in and pop up vaccination clinics – South West London CCG (swlondonccg.nhs.uk).
Call in at any vaccination centre and nurses, pharmacists and GPs will talk to you about any concerns or queries with no pressure to have the jab.
The following vaccinations can be booked:
- 1st and 2nd doses for people aged 12 years old and over
- boosters for people aged 16 years old and over
- 3rd doses and boosters (4th doses) for people with a severely weakened immune system aged 16 years old and over – If you are immunosuppressed you should have received a letter from either your GP, consultant or the National Booking System. If you or a family member are immunosuppressed and haven’t received a letter about a vaccination, please contact your GP or hospital consultant.