RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Forget the Oxford jab – we might as well ban Lemsip! 


Good news at last. My second jab has successfully negotiated the speed cameras on the M4 and the lane closures on the Surrey section of the M25.

Provided the Dartford Tunnel is behaving itself and there are no emergency roadworks at the M11 interchange, it should arrive in North London next Friday.

It’s been a long time coming, via a pharmacy in Reading and a clinic in Raynes Park, but the chequered flag is in sight.

AstraZeneca jab

With the AstraZeneca jab already considered unsuitable for the under-30s, it’s probably only a matter of time before the contagion spreads to older age groups. The next thing you know, no one will want the Oxford vaccine. There’s no logic to any of this. In fact, you might as well ban Lemsip

With the AstraZeneca jab already considered unsuitable for the under-30s, it’s probably only a matter of time before the contagion spreads to older age groups. The next thing you know, no one will want the Oxford vaccine. There’s no logic to any of this. In fact, you might as well ban Lemsip

OK, it’s the same ‘killer’ Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine which gave me the horrors first time round, but I’m prepared to take my chances.

In fact, as of first thing next Friday morning you’ll find me banging on the surgery door like Fred Flintstone, sleeve rolled up in readiness.

Fortunately, I’m far too old to have to worry about the remote possibility of the jab causing potentially fatal blood clots.

But even if I did fall into the ‘at risk’ under-30 age group — or ‘cohort’ as we must now call it — I think, on balance, I’d bite the bullet.

Despite the Government’s lily-livered determination to keep us all locked down for as long as possible, mass vaccination is the only way we’re ever going to escape the nightmare of the past 13 months.

Yet still the usual siren voices are attempting to scare us rigid. Their latest worst case scenario is hyping-up the unproven link between the Oxford vaccine and an extremely rare condition known as CVST which, when combined with something called thrombocytopenia, can cause clots on the brain.

Nope, me neither. I thought Thrombocyto-penia was a movie starring Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash and Sting. Forgive me for sounding flippant. But the clinical science behind all this sent my head spinning.

And, as the Mail reported yesterday, the jury is still out on the alleged link. There have been four cases and one death for every one million vaccines administered. The World Health Organisation says the link is ‘plausible’ but ‘not confirmed’. Even so, most people have got more chance of being killed in a road accident.

   

More from Richard Littlejohn for the Daily Mail…

So why seize on it to induce yet another wave of panic? Yes, thrombocytopenia is a recognised blood disorder which can lead to clotting. Those under-30s most at risk are being offered an alternative jab, which is probably only sensible under the circumstances.

But inevitably, the avalanche of hysterical adverse publicity— especially on TV — is bound to frighten others into refusing the AZ vaccine. Ministers and their tame ‘experts’ are busily trying to persuade us that the jab’s safe.

But given they have spent the past year fanning the flames of fear and paranoia, there will be plenty of Nervous Nellies unwilling to trust them.

With the AstraZeneca jab already considered unsuitable for the under-30s, it’s probably only a matter of time before the contagion spreads to older age groups.

The next thing you know, no one will want the Oxford vaccine. There’s no logic to any of this.

In fact, you might as well ban Lemsip.

Now before you think I’ve completely taken leave of my senses, allow me to refer to an email I received this week from Mail reader Findlay McClymont, from Sunninghill, Berkshire.

After reading about the potentially fatal side-effects of the AstraZeneca jab, he decided to inspect the contents of his medicine cabinet. Everything you buy from the chemist these days comes with a chunky leaflet detailing correct dosage and safety information. No one ever reads it.

But increasingly litigious Britain is getting like the U.S., where everything from aspirins to haemorrhoid cream comes with a terrifying catalogue of warnings, designed to ward off lawsuits.

The first product Findlay checked out was a box of Lemsip Max Cold and Flu Blackcurrant.

There, along with the usual caveats explaining that Lemsip can cause headache, vomiting, higher blood pressure, increased heart rate, insomnia, skin allergies etc, he discovered that the side-effects can also include:

‘Blood disorders, such as thrombocytopenia (a reduction in blood platelets which may make you bruise or bleed more easily) . . .’

So Lemsip, a widely used over-the-counter cough and cold treatment, carries at least one of the risks of the Oxford Covid jab.

Funnily enough, I don’t recall Sky News or the BBC devoting much airtime to the dangers of Lemsip. It would be unfair to single out Lemsip, which most of us consider perfectly harmless.

Many well-known treatments can induce thrombocytopenia, including statins, ibruprofen and penicillin. If you heeded all the small print, you’d never take any medicine. Everything in life carries some measure of risk. Just like the Oxford jab, sometimes the benefits far outweigh the dangers.

Take erectile dysfunction remedies, for instance. A few years ago a friend of mine, then in his late Sixties, was bitterly disappointed when his GP refused to prescribe him Viagra. ‘It’s for your own good,’ the doctor told him. ‘You’ve got dangerously high blood pressure and a dicky heart. Haven’t you read the side-effects?’

‘Of course I have, that’s why I want to try it. I’ve always fancied having a four-hour erection.’

Outgoing Left-wing Unite boss Len McCluskey’s legacy, apart from hobbling Labour for a generation by backing O.J. Corbyn and Momentum, is a £98 million white elephant in Birmingham.

The magnificent new hotel and conference complex was originally scheduled to cost members of Britain’s biggest union just £7 million. Questions are now being asked about how the final bill spiralled out of control so spectacularly. The main contract was awarded to a building company owned by Paul Flanagan, a friend of Red Len and a fellow Scouser. A firm run by David Anderson, son of former Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson, was in charge of health and safety.

Outgoing Left-wing Unite boss Len McCluskey’s legacy, apart from hobbling Labour for a generation by backing O.J. Corbyn and Momentum, is a £98 million white elephant in Birmingham

Outgoing Left-wing Unite boss Len McCluskey’s legacy, apart from hobbling Labour for a generation by backing O.J. Corbyn and Momentum, is a £98 million white elephant in Birmingham

Mr Flanagan and the Andersons have since been arrested on suspicion of bribery relating to building projects, which they deny. There is no suggestion of any illegality involving the Birmingham scheme or McCluskey. Unite describes Red Len’s Folly as a ‘world-class facility’.

It does, however, seem woefully short of business right now, with losses reportedly being underwritten by the union for the next two years.

So it is curious that having blown the thick end of 100 mill on the place, Lenny isn’t utilising it to the full. His union’s annual conference this year is pencilled in for Liverpool. And Unite Executive Council in June is taking place not in Brum but at the plush Metropole Hotel in Brighton.

Still, why should Lenny care? He’s due to retire soon. Perhaps he just fancies holding his farewell party beside the seaside. Or maybe he’s a big Quadrophenia fan (see elsewhere) and is planning to go out with a bang by driving his once-proud union off a cliff.

Oh my! It’s Burma

A few weeks ago, I wondered why we have to call some foreign countries and cities by their indigenous names, however confusing.

For instance, we’re all expected nowadays to refer to Burma as Myanmar, which sounds like a budget airline.

Why?

None of us calls Germany Deutschland, Spain Espanya or Paris Paree.

This week Burma/Myanmar’s ambassador was bewildered to find himself locked out of his own embassy in Mayfair.

‘This is London, not Burma,’ he told reporters.

If Burma is good enough for the Burmese ambassador, it should be good enough for the rest of us.

NHS patients in Nottingham are being prescribed paddleboarding sessions to improve their health.

Britain may be £400 trillion in debt, but you can always rely on the public sector to come up with imaginative new ways of wasting money. An alliance of taxpayer-funded bodies, including the Arts Council and Natural England, are bunging GPs £50,000 to spend on outdoor activities, such as canoeing and paddleboarding on the Nottingham and Beeston Canal. 

Is it any wonder we’re up the creek without a paddle?

This column’s annual Here We Go Looby Loo Awards, celebrating madwomen, may seem a little, er, misogynist in these enlightened times.

So perhaps it’s time to redress the balance with a special category dedicated to madmen.

This week, I received a barking mad email objecting in the most splenetic terms to my comparing Wee Burney standing on a box to the late Hollywood star Alan Ladd

This week, I received a barking mad email objecting in the most splenetic terms to my comparing Wee Burney standing on a box to the late Hollywood star Alan Ladd

This week, I received a barking mad email objecting in the most splenetic terms to my comparing Wee Burney standing on a box to the late Hollywood star Alan Ladd, who employed a similar method to prevent his co-stars towering over him. I can’t tell you my correspondent’s full name, since he only signed himself Davey. But given everything else going on in the world, it takes a special kind of lunacy to get upset over a story about a long-dead, vertically challenged actor.

Davey is worth an award all of his very own. But what to call it? I know . . .

Here We Go Scooby Doo!

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