Members of the public and politicians are up in arms after it emerged a Tory MP, who does not classify as vulnerable under government vaccine guidelines, received a coronavirus jab.
Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith wrote on Friday on Facebook that “as a volunteer, I was also asked to have a vaccine” beside a photo of himself receiving the jab.
He added: “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!”
Clarke-Smith said he had been asked to have the vaccine after spending the afternoon volunteering at a local hospital.
He and his family had contracted Covid-19 “back in March”.
Bassetlaw Council leader Simon Greaves, a Labour councillor, adding that Brendan was a ‘40yr old man’, wrote on Twitter: “The man was vaccinated despite thousands of local people on the govt’s priority list still waiting anxiously and patiently.”
Fellow councillor Alan Rhodes condemned the move, calling it “shameful queue jumping”.
“This is something that Bassetlaw voters should not forget or forgive,” he said.
Others lept to the MP’s defence.
Nicky Wylie wrote: “We vaccinate volunteers and anyone we can when we have spare vaccines otherwise they would be thrown away.
“We phone up people to come in. We have got young supermarket workers off the checkouts to use them up. Don’t make this out to be unusual or queue jumping.”
She added: “It’s impossible to get the numbers 100% because people don’t show up for appointments. It would be a sin to throw them away rather than vaccinate.”
A senior Whitehall source told POLITICO last night: “This is idiotic behaviour that risks undermining everything the dept for health and rest of govt has been doing.”
The first four groups to get the vaccine are meant to be older care home residents and carers; those over 80 and frontline health and social care workers; people over 75; those over 70 and people seen as very clinically vulnerable.