A Kildare doctor who is refusing to give patients the Covid-19 vaccine is standing his ground despite criticism from the HSE and negative media attention. 

Dr Gerard Waters based in Celbridge, Co Kildare, argues that the Covid vaccine has been rushed to market, and says that he won’t be administering it. He told RTÉ’s Liveline that he would not put anything in his patient’s arms that he would not put in his own.

Dr Waters described himself as a “conscientious objector” and that he disagreed with the government’s handling of the Covid-19 virus. He also said he did not send patients for Covid tests.

He told Liveline that he believed the vaccine was “experimental”. He also said he would not refer a patient for vaccination, but said it was up to the HSE to organise alternatives. He added that he would pass on his patient list to the HSE if required.

HSE chief Paul Reid described Dr Waters’ stance as “extremely disappointing and quite shocking”. Callers to Liveline were also critical of his position, with one woman describing it as an abuse of his position.

The HSE says the COVID-19 vaccines were developed quicker than usual because of the “huge, global investment into their research” and adds that the three vaccines approved in Ireland have been “developed in line with international standards of safety” and are “approved and licensed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)”./

However, another GP from Limerick, Dr Pat Morrissey, also told Liveline that he also had reservations about the vaccine, but that he would make sure his patients were looked after. He said he had no issue with vaccines in general and had administered topical vaccines in his practise.

Dr Morrissey said that he would be ensuring patients were informed about the possible risk of what he described as “experimental gene therapies”, and argued that successful treatments for Covid were not being highlighted. He also said that he was a “pariah” in the medical community for speaking out, and he had been complained to the Medical Council, and lost paid positions for taking a stand on treatments for Covid.

He added, however, that the medical practise he worked in seemed to be “more broad-minded” than the media or the Parliament.

Despite the criticism, Dr Waters later told Dublin Live he was standing firm on his position.

“It’s a messenger RNA vaccine and I don’t think that the illness overall warrants using an experimental vaccine. You can’t test a drug over a period of less than a year. This has been rushed into production,” he said.

“They’ve no idea – it could be a year, it could be a month, it could be six months, it could be five years before they realise what’s happening. They don’t know what the long-term or even short-term side effects are. I’m a 71-year-old doctor, I’ve been doing it for 40 years. I’ve seen dozens and dozens of drugs developed.”

He did tell Liveline that “circumstances change, I will change”.