A vaccine trial volunteer is appealing for Nicola Sturgeon to make sure people who took part are given official proof like everybody else.
Jill, from Aberdeen, took part in the Novavax trial last year after being inspired by her newborn nephew – but now says she would not have done it had she known the “hassle” in trying to be officially registered as fully vaccinated.
In a sign of the additional stress involved, she did not want us to use her full name and identify her because of the abuse and threats she received from anti-vaxxers for taking part in the trial.
Around 430 people in the Grampian area took part in the US biotech company’s trial last year, but the vaccine has yet to be approved for widespread use.
MSPs were due to debate and vote on proposals to introduce vaccine passports today.
Under the proposals, people will need to prove they have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine before entering nightclubs. It also applied for unseated indoor events of more than 500 people, unseated outdoor events of more than 4,000 people and all events of over 10,000 people.
To see Nicola Sturgeon out of isolation early because she has had two injections is insulting, because she would not have had a vaccine if no one did a trial.
Jill says she is worried she will not be covered by these vaccine passports and will be turned away from certain venues because she is not registered as fully vaccinated in Scotland.
‘Everyone who took part is vaccinated’
Jill says even though she has not had official confirmation of her vaccination status, all those who took part in the Novavax trial are fully immunised against coronavirus.
She said: “I wanted to take part for two reasons – firstly to get an NHS vaccine available for the people who were dying from Covid, and secondly my nephew was born a month before it all started and I don’t want him growing up in a world wearing masks and social distancing.
“Novavax decided to do a double blind trial, so everyone in the trial is fully vaccinated.
“You either had two vaccines in October and two placebos in April, or the other way around, but everyone who took part is vaccinated.
“But no one can give us a time for when this vaccine is likely to get authorisation.”
‘It is like a slap in the face’
Jill said she has “no issue” with the concept of vaccine passports.
But she added: “The new isolation rules don’t apply to us, we are told to still do the full 10 days of isolation.
“To see Nicola Sturgeon for example out of isolation early because she has had two injections whereas I would have to stay in for 10 days is insulting, because she would not have had a vaccine if no one did a trial.
“It is like a slap in the face.”
Jill is not planning to go abroad but claimed her life will be made more difficult at home.
“If I had known the hassle with the government I would not have done it, and I will not do another one,” she added.
“I don’t think a lot of people on the trial will do another one.
“We just feel really let down.
“They keep saying we will not be disadvantaged but that is not true, because people who got the NHS vaccine are getting things we can’t.”
Problem raised with Nicola Sturgeon
Last week, the first minister said no one who took part in a vaccine trial would be disadvantaged when it comes to vaccine passports.
She was responding to Douglas Lumsden, MSP for the North East, who also took part in the Novavax trial in Aberdeen and has struggled to get proof of his vaccination status.
He pressed the UK and Scottish governments to resolve this issue and claimed it is punishing those who took part in the vaccine trials.
He asked the first minister in parliament what would be done to make sure he and others like Jill are not excluded from having a vaccine passport.
The first minister thanked all who took part in such trials, and said they would not be disadvantaged in anyway, and said the Scottish Government is working to make sure their vaccination is evidenced.