So I’m obviously touching my wooden head as I’m saying this, but it seems like we’re turning some kind of Covid corner. And one of the surest indicators of this is that I don’t think I’ve mentioned Covid, or more specifically, Covid guidance, for a while now. Which is great, obviously, though not for me because, back in the dark days, this blog wrote itself just by cutting and pasting the latest insane NHSE diktat.
All good, then – until today. Because I’ve just read the bulleted list of symptoms-that-16-17-year-olds-should-look-out-for-post-jab, now that the programme has been extended to them.
There are so many things wrong with this, but I do know where to start: easy, the beginning, because the opening sentence contains the first howler: ‘If younger people experience any of the following symptoms after receiving their vaccination, they should call 111 or see their GP.’ Yes, ‘see’ their GP, as opposed to, ‘contact’ their GP. But don’t worry, it gets worse.
The bulleted list of symptoms potentially being the harbinger of pericardial or myocardial doom gets increasingly vague until by bullet 5 we have ‘tiredness and fatigue’. Yes, that symptom that the JCVI’s own Green Book acknowledges occurs in about 60% of patients post Pfizer jab.
Plus, note, there is absolutely no timespan given for the symptoms listed, other than ‘after receiving the vaccine’, which presumably means this guidance must be lifelong. So, teens, relegate that acne-angst low down your neurosis list because apparently you need to see the GP whenever ‘you feel like you need to be sick’ (bullet seven) – which if my two boys are anything to go by, was every Saturday night for about 10 years.
Look, JCVI, I know you’re busy too, but we have 450 16-17 year olds on our list and if 60% of them feel iffy post-jab and even if only half of those take your advice seriously, that equates to 7.5 whole surgeries of freaking (in all senses) adolescents. And they’ll be coming to see me f2f about a diagnosis I can’t possibly exclude without sending them to A&E, so casualty doctors are going to hate you too.
All I can conclude is that I’m not the only one with wood for a head. But, hey, thanks for the easy blog.
Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. Read more of Copperfield’s blogs at http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/views/copperfield