Patient facing staff at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust have been receiving their COVID-19 vaccines during January. Staff members who regularly see patients or are clinically extremely vulnerable are the first to get their jabs.

Abiola Allinson, Chief Pharmacist for Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust is one of the staff members who have had their jabs.

Speaking about getting his vaccine Abiola said; ‘I’ve had my COVID-19 vaccine and I took the opportunity to have it because I believe it is the right thing to do.

'As a dad I want to be a fit and healthy father to my two teenagers and the vaccine will help me to be that. I know that getting my jab will protect me and it really has meant a lot to me.  It feels like it is a first step towards normality.

‘As a pharmacist, I am a medication expert, I am responsible to patients to help them get the best out of the medication they are prescribed. Vaccines have been around for many years, they teach your immune system how to create antibodies that protect you from diseases. It is much safer for your immune system to learn this through vaccines than by catching the diseases.

‘I know that some people from BAME backgrounds are concerned about the ingredients in the vaccines. I want to reassure people that there is no material of foetal or animal origin, including eggs, in the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. Scientists from different backgrounds were involved in the development of the vaccines and both the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine were tested on people from BAME backgrounds. There is no evidence that they will work any differently on different ethnic groups.

‘I would urge anyone who is offered a vaccine to take up the offer regardless of your ethnic background. The scientists support the vaccine. Getting your jab is about working together as a society.  The more people who are vaccinated, the fewer opportunities there will be for this dreadful disease to take hold in the future.’