Vine panelist clashes with former care worker on vaccination
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Care worker Louise Akester appeared on Jeremy Vine on 5 after a teary video which revealed she left her job because she rejected the coronavirus vaccine blew up online. The worker, who has been in the sector for 14 years, told Jeremy Vine she was not an anti-vaxxer but wanted to wait until more evidence was released as she fought back tears on the Channel 5 show. But Benjamin Butterworth was not convinced and chastised Ms Akester for not taking the mandatory vaccine as the two disagreed over the efficacy of the jab.
Ms Akester shared an emotional video online where she explained she had just completed her last shift because she did not want to take part in the mandatory vaccination of care staff.
In the video, she said: “That’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, say goodbye to everybody, all the people that I’ve cared for so long, the people that I’ve worked with.
“It’s been so emotional. This is so unfair.”
From November 11, those working in care homes must be fully vaccinated against Covid.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid also announced NHS staff will require vaccination from April.
Speaking on Jeremy Vine on 5, Ms Akester said she was not an anti-vaxxer but wanted to see more evidence and studies come out before she took the vaccine.
She added she was upset that she now was “no good all of a sudden” as she and her colleagues were praised during the height of lockdown but now felt negatively targetted.
She also revealed her son would beg her not to go to work because he was worried about the pandemic as a clearly emotional Ms Akester fought back tears.
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But Mr Butterworth, who was on the Jeremy Vine panel, tried to sympathise but ultimately slammed Ms Akester’s decision.
He told Ms Akester: “Watching how much you love your job and seeing you crying, my heart sinks on everything about this situation.
“But ultimately, you are wrong to refuse the vaccine in my opinion.
“Because there have been [millions] of doses of this issued in this country and we know very clearly that it is safe and that it works and that it saves people’s lives.
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“The reason it was important that this was put in care homes first is because anybody who was in a care home living there is, by definition, vulnerable.”
Mr Butterworth also slammed her decision to wait until the jab was “safe” and said if everyone had that belief then a lot more people would die in the care homes she works in.
Ms Akester said she did not agree with Mr Butterworth “whatsoever” and said from personal experience, by talking to people, that some have had adverse reactions to the jab.
She also quoted Boris Johnson who admitted the vaccine did not 100 percent protect people from the virus.
Mr Butterworth fought back and said there is plenty of evidence to prove it decreases the chance of getting it and passing it on and for that reason, it should be taken.
The mandatory vaccination of care workers comes into place on Thursday but there are concerns from health bosses that up to 60,000 workers may have to leave as they are not vaccinated.
Mr Javid announced it would be extended to NHS staff from April with figures suggesting between 80,000 and 100,000 NHS workers are unvaccinated.
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