Crowd Doctor's message: Get a vaccine

The club's crowd doctor Rob Galloway has outlined three important reasons for getting vaccinated and how it can help get crowds back to the Amex.

By Bruce Talbot • 26 January 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
The Amex Stadium.

More than five million vaccination injections have already been given in the UK, the most in Europe, and Dr Galloway, who is an A&E consultant at the Royal Sussex in Brighton and Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, has reassured people that both the Pfizer and Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccines have been rigorously tested and are safe. He says no one should be worried about getting a vaccine.

He said, “The first reason is it can protect you from getting COVID-19, including the new strains that can affect some people more acutely and not just the vulnerable, but people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

“Secondly, it gives you protection against Long COVID. Again, from my own experiences, this causes consequences for patients of all ages who can get exhausted doing even simple things. We have seen patients struggling with lung clots and strokes, and it also causes long-term effects including depression and anxiety issues.

“And thirdly, the more people who are vaccinated the better it is for society. We are only going to be able to do things we used to regard as normal - like going to Albion games, hugging family members, having a pint at the pub – once we get a large percentage of the population vaccinated.”

Rob says that anyone who is not registered with a GP should do so urgently to make sure they are contacted when it's their turn to be vaccinated.

“When you go for your vaccine, healthcare professionals will be on hand to allay any fears you might have. Your arm will be sore for a bit and you might feel a bit fluey for a day but it's no different to getting the flu vaccine. There are very few contraindications to getting a vaccine and even if you have allergies you are most likely to be able to get a vaccine. However, currently they are only licensed for those over-18.

“Once vaccinated you will still have to observe the normal precautions like wearing a mask and observing social distancing. But 2-3 weeks after your first jab you will then be better protected and when you get a second jab you will have even more protection. 

Another reason to be vaccinated is to help the NHS to look after non-COVID patients. “There is obviously a backlog in treating things like cancer and surgery for children,” added Dr Galloway. “Once the vaccine starts to take effect the pressure will ease on hospitals throughout Sussex and we can begin working through the backlog.”

Rob says he is looking forward to working at a full Amex again soon.

“I can't wait to see the stadium packed and 30,000 fans getting behind the team. That day will come quicker if everyone takes up the offer of a safe vaccine.”