Local Totnes clinic invited me to get a Covid-19 vaccination this week. I said: ”No thank you. Not now.”

2500 words, 6 or 7 minute read

I received on Tuesday (18 January 2021) a text message from my local clinic in Totnes, Devon, England, about 10 minutes’ walk from home.

This is an invitation to book a Covid Vaccine at Leatside Surgery this week.

If you are unable to book through the link below, then please ring the surgery, option 4, between 2 and 6 pm. and we will try to help.

At 76 years, I qualify for an early vaccination along with others in my age group in the UK.

I telephoned the surgery (clinic) and told the nurse I have received the text. I thanked her and said: “I will not be having the vaccination. For now. Thank you.”

She said: “Fine.”

Purpose of Blog

This blog encourages people to engage in their own research and make their own decision on having a jab.

I suspect Covid-19 will be with us for years, perhaps in clusters or more than that.  I believe a Covid-19 vaccination makes a valuable contribution to this global health crisis but the underlying causes for the global pandemic have not been addressed. We face the possibility of more SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) through more mutations and new manifestations of Coronavirus. And more updating of vaccinations.

I have no criticism of those who wish to receive the jab at the first opportunity. Others can make an informed decision and decline.  The jab has the potential to make a real contribution to reducing the levels of suffering, hospitalisation and death for those badly infected with Covid-19.

Like millions of others, I wish the vaccination programme very success. There are concerns as well about adverse reactions to the vaccinations in the short and long term. If you consider taking the jab, you could try to find four or five people in your age group of their experience of the  vaccination in terms of any side effects in the days after their jab. If you have the jab, please still take maximum care using facemask etc

An Oxford Coronavirus Survey in December 2020 asked 5114 members of the public whether they would receive a vaccination when offered.  Adults represented age, gender, ethnicity, income, and region.

72% of British citizens said they wish to have a vaccination. 28% had different views.

16% of the population were very unsure about a COVID-19 jab. 12% said they were likely to delay or avoid getting the vaccine. One in twenty in the survey described themselves as anti-vaccination for Covid-19.

This week (26 January 2021) deaths from Covid-19 will reach 100,000 people in the UK. Wards in many hospitals are packed tight with very sick Covid-19 patients. There is immense suffering here and in many other countries. Some countries have addressed Covid-19 and have a very low death rate without the vaccination.

The British Government informs the public daily of the Covid-19 death toll but does not inform us of the deaths of many who were unable to receive urgent treatment or operations due to priority given to Covid-19 patients. People in need of major health care were often afraid to go to hospital in case they became infected with Covid-19. Cancellations took place due to lack of wards available or lack of staff for the operating theatre or withdrawal from the patient.

An estimated 1-2 million operations have been cancelled in the past year including around 36,000 cancer procedures.

It is hard to comprehend the suffering of individuals, families and friends, whose loved one cannot cannot get the treatment needed. Surely, we need to look at the bigger picture.

Yes, a vaccination can make an important contribution but many people from children to the very elderly cannot take the vaccination.

Groups of people, who are not eligible for the vaccine, include the under 16 year-olds,  the frail, people with diseases, due to components in the vaccine, pregnant women, weak immune system, respiratory problems, certain allergies, strong reservations, vulnerabilities, doubts, fear, denial etc.

Some have engaged in research, reflected and meditated on the global pandemic and have arrived at a decision at this time due to our present situation.

Some in the 72%, who want the vaccination, engage in written and verbal abuse of the 28%, and the other way around.

Four groups of people have views. I take a similar approach to those in Group Two.

  1. The majority of people express a pro-vac viewpoint.
  2. Others see the genuine benefits of a vaccination but feel no present need for a jab for themselves and/or have currently reservations about a jab regardless of the pressure of politicians and medical scientists.
  3. A minority have an anti-vac viewpoint.
  4. A minority do not fall into the above three categories and take no notice of texts from a clinic similar to the one I received.

Acknowledgement of Personal Situation

I am in a fortunate position. So far, I am healthy with no underlying health issues. I exercise daily, am 99% vegan and blessed with peace of mind.

The strict use of my surgical facemask, social distancing and washing of hands gives much protection. There is daily enjoyment of the silence and solitude at home. I engage in correspondence, via emails, text messages, WhatsApp, Skype and use of Zoom for Dharma teachings and support for those in need. I regard the chances of my catching Covid-19 as low.

Totnes (around 8300 residents) is the largest town in the Devon constituency of South Hams, with a population of around 84,000 people blessed to live in an area with a low Covid-19 infection rate and a low death compared to much of the rest of country.  There are people in Britain and overseas who need the jab far more than I do. The situation can change, of course. If it does, then the current decision will need reviewing.

South Devon consists of much open countryside,  many farms and a popular area for many elderly people to spend their retirement. Devon and the neighbouring county of Cornwall had over two millions visitors last summer from all over Britain including areas of much higher infection rates.  It is another reason why I regard it currently as unnecessary to have the jab.

Others can consider from their particular circumstances. Please reflect to come to a decision. Read online research. Scientific evidence does not reveal a single, unchanging truth, nor do the political comments. Then make your own mind up. There is the danger of the herd mentality, either for or against.

If you have decided currently, you do not wish to have the jab, please apply with total  mindfulness and total dedication the scientific guidelines of a top  quality facemask,  strict social distancing and regular washing of hands. You take no risks. You will protect yourself and protect others. If you cannot commit to such a daily practice, then go and have the vaccination.

The British Government has ordered 357 million vaccines from three companies for a population of 66 million with around nine million children under 16 years of age in school. The country has enough vaccines for two years even though the vaccines may have lost their potency by January 2023.

Most developing nations lack the financial resources to buy millions of vaccines or have the scientific laboratories to develop produce their own vaccines.

Head of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva, Switzerland three days ago,

“Most manufacturers have prioritized regulatory approval in rich countries, where profits are higher, rather than submitting their dossiers to WHO for prequalification.

“I need to be blunt: the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.”

The Health Foundation of the UK states: “There is clear evidence that black and minority ethnic groups are at higher risk of dying from Covid-19 than the rest of the population. The same kind of claim goes out about our Asian communities. Reports in the US said black Americans were three times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white citizens.

Such statements can avoid address poverty and cramped living conditions and turn Covid-19 into a race or ethnic issue. If the Black community is more vulnerable to Covid-19, then the death rate for 1.3 billion people living in Africa must face extermination with few hospitals, weak health services and lack of access to media for information.  Many in rural areas would not even know nor have access or  afford facemasks and hand cleansers.

Covid-19 is a virus impacting on human beings regardless of colour and ethnicity. People who remain most vulnerable to coronavirus include the very elderly. Their are millions with underlying health conditions including being overweight/obese, diabetes, heart issues, respiratory problems, cigarette smoking, drugs and high blood pressure. Air pollution and unhealthy work environments also contribute to weakening of capacity of body to resist a virus.The poor suffer more.

Those who live in crowded conditions such as large families, perhaps extended families and intense social housing remain at a much higher risk level.

Poverty, social hardship, a poor diet and weak immune system make a person or household far more vulnerable to catching coronavirus with possible long term consequences.  Those of us who live alone with sound health, eat a healthy diet and the privilege of a garden have a much greater capacity to resist the virus.

Skin colour has a small relevance compared to social poverty.

A Covid-19 vaccine can cause mild side effects after the first or second dose, including:

  • Pain, redness or swelling in the location of the shot
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain

Protection from the virus may take five or six weeks after a jab.

The above side effects appear mild. There is concern that the symptoms might trigger a rapid decline in health after one or two jabs for a minority of highly vulnerable elderly people or people with a very weak immune system due to sickness or an unknown underlying health issue.

Global Figures

Every day Worldometer, an international team of researchers and volunteers provide details of Covid-19 infections/deaths  in 211 countries.

Worldometer lists the top six countries with the most citizens who have or have suffered infection from Covid-19:

USA, Brazil, India, Russia, UK and France.

Three countries of the six countries appeared to have triggered ‘highly infectious mutations’ of Covid-19:

Brazil, UK and USA (California).

Leadership of top five countries share common authoritarian/narcissistic personality. They promote identification with national self-importance and neglect needs of certain groups of people.

Readers might reflect on common personality trait of leaders running countries with the highest infection rates.

SIX COUNTRIES WITH THE HIGHEST INFECTION RATES (21.01.2021).
1. USA
Infected with Covid-19: 24,998,975
Deaths: 415,894deaths
Deaths for every million people. 1252
Trump slogan “Make American Great Again.”
Facing 2nd impeachment for ‘ Incitement of Insurrection.’
2. India
Infect with Covid-18: 10,611,719 people infected
Deaths: 152,906 deaths
Deaths per million. 110
Run by President Modi of BJP – a Hindu nationalist party discriminating against Muslims.
3. Brazil
Infected with Covid-19: 8,639, 868,
Death 212,983
Deaths per million. 998
Far Right government with President Bolsonaro using incendiary rhetoric.
4. Russia
Infected with Covid-19: 3,655,839
Deaths: 67,832
Deaths per million: 465 death
Parliament taking steps to change Russian constitution so President Putin can stay in power until 2036. Arrests/Attempts of life/assassinations of certain voices in opposition.
5. UK
Infected with Covid-19: 3,505,754
Deaths: 93,290
Deaths per million. 1,370
Prime Minister Johnson and his ministers: English/UK nationalists.
Brexit slogans. Take Back Control, We Want Our Country Back.
6. France
Infected with Covid-19: 2,965,117,
Deaths: 71,652
Deaths per million: 1,096.
France also experiences deep social divisions, such as late 2018-early 2019 violent and non-violent Des Gilets Jaunes demonstrations in Paris and other cities for economic justice. In October 2020, President Macron told France and 3.7 million French Muslims that Islam is “a religion that is in crisis all over the world today.” Muslims and others found such a comment offensive.

Concerns of Deaths following Vaccinations

Doctors in Norway conducted in January 2021  evaluations of frail elderly patients following deaths of 33 patients aged 75 or over, shortly after receiving the vaccine.

They expressed concern that side effects of immunisation can, in some cases, “tip the patients into a more serious course of the underlying disease.”

Common adverse reactions, such as fever, nausea, and diarrhoea, may have contributed to fatal outcomes in certain frail patients.

Norway medical scientists have recommended a medical evaluation before a doctor administers a vaccination to a fragile or dying person.

The German and American vaccinations inform us these two vaccines are about 95% effective. This means about 1 out of 20 people who get the vaccination may not have protection from Covid-19 and the additional threat of its mutations.

A Covid-19 vaccine might prevent us from getting Covid-19. If we get Covid-19, the vaccine might keep us from becoming seriously ill or from developing serious complications.

The vaccination company informs us  they do not have the research yet to show if we can still carry and transmit the virus to others after a vaccination. Medical science does not know how well the vaccine works in preventing transmission.

Medical scientists designed the vaccinations for Covid-19 to stop us from getting sick.

For the above reasons, I don’t find myself motivated to get the vaccination.

Dedication to exercise such as expanding the lungs, deep breathing, strengthening the muscles, fresh air, such as open windows and outdoors). Eat nutritious food with a full range of vitamins in the food. Make a commitment to living one day at a time with a specific point of interest in the day. Such practices will contribute to well-being and increased measure of safety.

This principle applied whether you get the jab or not.

A Wider Concern

We have witnessed in the past year a global pandemic with nearly 100 million infected people so far and more than two million deaths. The world could have prevented much of this through medical co-operation rather than competition.

More than 20 corporations compete with each other to produce a vaccine. Companies like American biotech company Moderna and Germany’s BioNTech with its partner, US giant Pfizer, stand to make billions of dollars in the years ahead. I regard it as naïve to imagine that such companies work only for the social good.

Prestige and profit (company, country and personal) matter far more for the bosses than co-operation.

If in January 2020, these corporations and their medical laboratories worldwide agreed to co-operate and share their knowledge, results from research and trials, they could have produced a vaccine in weeks not a year.

We do not need several vaccines. We need one that works for everybody worldwide. Coronavirus is a contagious virus with an increasing number of mutations appearing to be even more highly contagious.

Far too many governments wasted valuable time. They closed their eyes and sat on their hands. If governments had prepared and trained all the medical staff, plus a huge number of volunteers, it would have been an important step to fast distribution of vaccines. Governments need to create the infrastructure for the production, distribution and application of the vaccines, then humanity would be out of this nightmare already.

Certain governments, such as the British government, handed out huge contracts to their friends in the private sector to produce the necessities even though they had no experience of production and distribution of medical necessities.

Governments around the world dished $6.5 million dollars to different medical companies, plus $1.5 billion provided by thousands of foundations worldwide.

Vaccinations and its infrastructure would not have been necessary if the rich countries had been willing to listen to the countries that acted wisely and skilfully to arrest the epidemic before it took hold. Vaccines reveal a confirmation of failure beforehand. Wise countries did not need to spend a fortune relying on vaccines nor did they submit to the global pressure of foundations like the Gates Foundation with its determination to vaccinate the seven billion people.

AstraZeneca of Oxford said their coronavirus vaccine will always be available on a non-profit basis to low- and middle-income countries in the developing world. That offer is to their credit. Moderna and Pfizer have refused such a commitment.

When the rich countries take priority, it means reduction in empathy for the developing nations. The developing nations find themselves scrambling for any crumbs left on the table.

While appreciating the remarkable dedication and achievements of medical science and health services, I do not find anything appealing in Big Pharma and the opportunistic, competitive and profit making approach of certain CEOS,  board of directors and shareholders in the vaccination business. This is not a reproach of the remarkable work of employees engaged in round-the-clock work to find a cure for Covid-19 but of the business model. The global pandemic requires international co-operation.

Conclusion
I preferred to telephone my clinic and say, “No, thank you. Not now.”

PS. For now. I leave the door ajar a little. For example
If a law comes out ‘no jab, no flight, no jab, no train,’
then I will reconsider taking a vaccination.
I travel to offer Dharma teachings for a liberated way of life.
That takes priority.
The jab is a choice.

NB. Please see  blog OF 28.01.2021 A SIMPLE GUIDE TO FACEMASKS. If you do not wish to be a spreader of Covid-19, nor an inhaler, please ensure you are using an appropriate mask.

STAY WELL.



  • I cannot believe so many people are happy to have an improperly tested , unlicensed , experimental vaccine ,without product liability and likely IRREVERSIBLE

    As for advocating that kids and young people should have these vaccines when they are at virtually zero risk strikes me as criminality to a high degree

  • Dear Christopher, thank you for sharing your view, your reflections and taking your stand.

    I feel grateful because it’s this kind of humble yet firm deliberation and discernment helping me reflect and form my own perspective. AND engage in an open hearted and caring conversation with my loved ones, to jointly explore this important field and question, taking all perspectives available to us into account.

    May the agitation subside, engaged and mindful dialogue become possible and wise action emerge. For all of us.

  • Israel, which leads the world in terms of vaccination rollout reports a 60% drop from their peak in both infections and hospitalisations.

    I am sure big pharma is making as much money as they can, but that is not the point. I’m happy to let the universe deal with their Karma for the moment.

    Releasing some of the pressure on the NHS is absolutely essential – exhausted staff, overcrowding, lack of nurses – if this can be reduced by 60% or even 1% then other non-COVID patients can start getting the treatment they need too.

    This is just fact – not making any value judgements on all the issues raised.

    People talking about information being ‘shut down’ and quoting information they have read on the internet which they then accept as being valid because it suits their world view should think really carefully about the consequences.

    As the Buddha said – thoughts then words then action – it’s a slippery slope.

    • Does the 60% include Palestinians in the West Bank
      or the Gaza Strip. Israel does not have a good record towards its Palestinians brothers???

      • There are two items on the BBC website today which address both issues – the efficacy of the vaccine and its effect on infections among the elderly sector of the population and the availability of the vaccine to the Palestinian population both on the West Bank and in Gaza.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55706855
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/55800921

        My personal opinion is that everybody, Israelis andPalestinians should have equal access to the vaccine, but my original comment was a response to those who irresponsibly doubt its efficacy.

  • Sadly, it seems likely that there will be an increase in suffering because of the disinformation in your blog Christopher and yet all I can do is share my disagreement with you which is based on scientific evidence and then let go and send lovingkindness/metta to you and compassion/karuna to those who will fall ill whether directly or indirectly as a result of your actions. Wendy Zerin MD

  • Thank you for this Christopher. I am 71 and will refuse the jab when its offered. I would add that this type of vaccine (mRNA) has never been previously used and has not been fully tested so those taking the vaccine are taking part in an experiment. I think it’s highly likely that even if the Govt doesn’t bring in ‘vaccine passports’ for travel, hospitality etc., individual businesses, corporations etc will require such a necessity. Saga have already put a ‘jab or no booking’ in place on their cruises (which apparently will be socially distanced and with a high number of medical staff on board!) There was a news item a couple of days ago that stated the possibility that the first jab gave only 33% protection, not 89% as first thought which proves we understand very little about this vaccination. This news item was quickly shut down. I can’t imagine taking the vaccine in any circumstances and Andrew and I will if necessary seek a different way of life. I hope it doesn’t come to that!

  • I wonder how is possible that the Covid variants UK, Brazil and South Africa match with the AstraZeneca countries where the trials where done

    The clinical development program for AZD1222 was initiated by the University of Oxford, and currently has 4 ongoing studies being conducted in the UK (FIH COV001 [NCT04324606], COV002 [NCT04400838]), Brazil (COV003 [ISRCTN89951424], and South Africa (COV005 [NCT04444674]).

  • Curious me prefered to say yes and experienced mild fattigue.
    It supports my parents (90 years old) mind to better ease while I (66) move around not in accord with carefue regulations and also visit them regularly.

  • Thanks Christopher for all your research and also your level headed approach on refusing to take the vaccine at this point in time. I think you have sound reasons for not vaccinating for covid-19 at this point in time. I really think anyone who is getting the vaccine is really a guinea pig as it hasn’t really had enough time to prove if it works and what the side effects might be. That especially goes for Australians where we have so little. My friend who is 87years old is very upset at the moment after hearing her sister in England died the day she had her 2nd shot of the vaccine. Her family have been told she died of heart failure.

  • I’ll get the jab as quickly as I can roll up my sleeve and the vaccine becomes available. I’ll let you know if I have any side-effects or the executor of my last will and testament will let you know via Facebook.

    • Wanted to share with Tom that I had my first vaccine 10 days ago. No symptoms beyond some pain in the arm.
      Second will be beginning of June.

      Stay healthy, everybody!


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