A HEREFORD doctor is refusing to have the coronavirus vaccination, despite being involved in the rollout in the city where almost 3,000 people have been jabbed.

Wargrave House Surgery GP Clare Jones sent a letter to Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman saying she would use her "free will and conscience" after weighing up the pros and cons.

The letter, which was also sent to the Lockdown Sceptics website, said: "Like most other people who decline the vaccine, I’m not an 'anti-vaxxer'. My son is fully vaccinated; I have travel vaccines.

"But I weigh up the pros and cons of vaccines in a more informed way than most other people and have decided for now I don’t want it (likewise the flu vaccine).

"There is currently a haemorrhaging of experienced GPs due to unprecedented stress levels, including one over the last couple of months from our five partner practice. If I go it will destabilise our already struggling practice."


Dr Jones, a partner at the surgery in St Owen Street, said she had "borne the burden of vaccinating", with no extra payment as well as the massive organisational toll, to vaccinate those who want to be jabbed.

Mr Norman, whose wife Kate Bingham was involved with UK's vaccine taskforce last year, declined to comment on the letter.

Hereford Times: Jesse Norman MP and inset, his wife Kate Bingham, former chair of the Vaccines Task ForceJesse Norman MP and inset, his wife Kate Bingham, former chair of the Vaccines Task Force

Taurus Healthcare, a federation of all 20 GP surgeries in Herefordshire, also declined to comment.

Latest NHS figures, which cover to February 28, show 2,995 people in Hereford have now had at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, with Wargrave House Surgery helping to run the jab centre at Saxon Hall.

Joyce Robbins, of the campaign group Patient Concern, accused the GP of being irresponsible.

"If patients are being asked to have the jab, then GPs should be having it too," she told the MailOnline.

"It is for everyone’s sake. Voices like this could hinder the success of the vaccine rollout and by not having the jab, Dr Jones risks picking up the virus and potentially passing it onto her patients."

The General Medical Council, the public body which maintains the official register of medical practitioners within the UK, said all doctors should, where possible, have the vaccine.

A spokesperson said: "Our guidance, good medical practice, is clear that doctors should be immunised against common serious communicable diseases unless medically contraindicated.

"If there are good reasons why vaccination is not appropriate in individual cases, we’d expect strong measures in place to minimise risk and protect vulnerable patients."


It comes as NHS England has called for managers to have one-to-one conversations with staff who refuse the Covid-19 vaccine.

An email seen by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) called on NHS trusts to “redouble our efforts in keeping each and every one of our staff safe”.

The email, from NHS England’s chief people officer Prerana Issar, said: “As a result of your continued hard work we have seen an uptick in staff vaccination numbers, with nine out of (10) eligible staff now vaccinated.

“The feedback we’ve received is that your work with (black, Asian and minority ethnic) networks, chaplains and clinical leaders has had results.

“There are, however, a number of staff who have declined the first dose of the vaccine.

“As the evidence grows around the effectiveness of the vaccine and its ability to reduce transmission, we must now redouble our efforts in keeping each and every one of our staff safe…

“So we are asking that every staff member who declined the vaccine should now have a one-to-one conversation with their line manager to explain the powerful protective effects of the vaccine.

“It is the perfect opportunity to address concerns and better understand hesitancy.

“Local occupational health teams should support these conversations.”

Ms Issar said the conversations needed to happen “at pace” and by March 12.

In July, when he was promoting an expanded programme of NHS flu jabs, Prime Minister said people opposed to vaccinations were "nuts".

Hereford Times: Boris Johnson visited Hereford County Hospital last year. Picture: Matthew Horwood/PA WireBoris Johnson visited Hereford County Hospital last year. Picture: Matthew Horwood/PA Wire

During the visit to a medical centre in east London, the Prime Minister asked staff what they thought of anti-vaxxers, adding: “There’s all these anti-vaxxers now. They are nuts, they are nuts.”

More recently, ministers have been clear coronavirus vaccines will not be compulsory.

However it could affect travel, as on Friday Cyprus said it would only be welcoming British tourists from May if they had had both doses of the Covid vaccine.


Among the concerns from so-called "anti-vaxxers" are about jabs causing infertility, but these claims have been denied by senior medics.

A joint statement from The Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said there was “no evidence” the jabs affect fertility, a message underlined by England's deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam.

England’s chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, has also urged healthcare workers to have the vaccination.

He told a Downing Street press conference in February: “It is the ­professional responsibility for doctors to do things which help protect their patients. And I expect that to be a professional responsibility for all other health and social care staff as well.”