A woman local to the east Norfolk town of Great Yarmouth expresses that she “feels like a leper”, because she is unvaccinated.
The Grandmother-of-eight has a rare condition that leaves her blood extremely susceptible to clotting. Because of this condition, Vanda James has opted out of receiving any of her Covid-19 vaccinations.
The 63-year-old Grandmother from Great Yarmouth said she feels as though people who choose to be unvaccinated like herself are being blamed, all be it unfairly, for the spread of the virus in addition to them being coined extremists and conspiracy theorists.
Ms James told the EDP reporter –
“I’m not in any way anti-vaccine and I discussed the situation with my GP, who was quite neutral but ultimately I feel like I have to do what is best for my own health. If I were to go ahead and the worst happened, I would feel like I had done it to myself.”
“However, I now feel a little ostracised by this, almost like a leper. It seems to me like unvaccinated people are being dismissed as selfish and blamed – when people who are vaccinated can spread the virus too.”
At this moment in time, Vanda James is seeing a certificate to confirm her medical exemption from taking any of the three doses now available to the public. She has added that she feels that people who have opted out of the vaccines are being “tarred with the same brush”.
She claims she is not an extremist, nor does she believe in any of the many conspiracy theories that surround the Covid-19 vaccines and that she simply wishes that people would be more understanding of her good reason to not be vaccinated.
“If I did not have my condition, I perhaps would not have been the very first in the queue to get one but I would certainly have given it serious thought.”
Vanda has claimed that people have started treating her differently upon learning of her vaccine status. Vanda even missed out on a potential date. She revealed to the EDP that she had been hoping to meet someone new however, when they found out she had not received the jab, they ignored her.
Ms James has also found it challenging to make holiday plans with her friends due to her vaccine status due to many countries now requiring proof of two vaccine doses often before entry.
Nearly everyone in the country is encouraged to go and get vaccinated as it is the most effective way of protecting individuals and the National Health Service. Some people, like Ms James, can be medically exempt. People who are physically unable to get the jab can apply to prove to through 119, although applications will only be accepted from people who are deemed eligible.
The government website currently lists medical exemptions as –
- People receiving end of life care where a jab is not in their best interest
- People with learning disabilities and impairments, which mean vaccinations can cause distress
- People with severe allergies to all currently available vaccines
- People who have had severe adverse reactions to first doses
- Other medical conditions which allow for exemptions
Anyone without medical exemptions are strongly advised to seek two vaccine doses and then a booster jab.