‘A line has been crossed’ - doctor

AN EMERGENCY department doctor has resigned over the announcement that Guernsey will be offering Covid vaccines to 12- to 15-year-olds.

Dr Scott Mitchell. (Picture By Sophie Rabey, 30013602)
Dr Scott Mitchell. (Picture By Sophie Rabey, 30013602)

The move comes as Health & Social Care gave details of its plans to allow younger teenagers the option of having a single vaccine dose.

Dr Scott Mitchell, 42, has worked for HSC for more than five years, but said he would not sit by and support the direction of travel any longer.

He submitted his resignation letter yesterday morning.

It was not a simple decision. Originally from Scotland, he has been working in Guernsey on licence and lives here with his family. This move might mean he has to leave the island. But he felt it was the right thing to do.

‘A line has been crossed,’ he said.

‘I decided as a doctor I had had enough. I do no harm. I had a few tears this morning. It was not an easy decision, but it’s been coming for a while. But I also feel like a weight has been lifted.’

A Health & Social Care spokeswoman said she could not comment on individual cases. She said she had enquired about whether any other doctors had raised similar concerns.

The news about the extension of the vaccine programme came out during media questions at the press conference earlier this week.

Dr Mitchell said he had not heard about it in advance of that revelation, but said he was not surprised, after the UK’s chief medical officers overrode the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

He has had the Pfizer vaccine, as well as all his other vaccinations, but he felt this was the wrong move for children.

‘We have to consider the risk to benefits [ratio],’ he said.

‘Healthy children have a very low risk of getting seriously ill or dying from Covid.’

Yet children do have a small chance of side effects from the vaccines.

He said there had been unease by some doctors about the different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, but he had not heard of a groundswell of objections from other doctors about vaccinating children.

But he felt HSC had not taken everything into consideration.

Dr Mitchell is a member the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance – a non-profit organisation aimed at preventing transmission of Covid-19 and improving patient outcomes. Its website promotes Ivermectin – a broad spectrum anti-parasitic agent, which is not approved in the UK as a treatment for Covid-19.

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