Blackpool Pleasure Beach boss backtracks over AstraZeneca ‘safety’ comment

In Your Area - LancsLive

Amanda Thompson said she wishes she had a choice between the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca going forward due to the difference in effectiveness against Covid-19

The boss of Blackpool Pleasure Beach has backtracked after questioning the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Amanda Thompson OBE took to social media on Wednesday evening (May 26) to inform her 10,000 followers that she had had her second dose of the vaccine.

But in doing so, she revealed she “really wanted” the Pfizer vaccine next time, saying she was “scammed by having the AstraZeneca jab as we are not as safe”.

Ms Thompson, who is MD of Pleasure Beach, was referencing the effectiveness of the two vaccines against the Indian variant B1617.2.

Recent Government studies have shown that the Pfizer jab is 88% effective compared to AZ’s 60%.

Ms Thompson later went on to say that it was better to have had it than not and that she merely wanted a choice.

Ms Thompson posted: “Had my second jab. I really want the Pfizer one next time I feel as though we have been scammed by having the AstraZeneca jab as we are not as safe against the virus. But better to have had it than not.”

The tweet saw significant backlash with social media users describing the post as ‘irresponsible’ coming from a person in her position.

“I’m willing to bet people around the world who need a vaccine but haven’t been able to have one yet would love to have swapped places. Shameful, quite frankly.”

Another responded: “Absolutely love BPB [Blackpool Pleasure Beach] and have a lot of respect for you Amanda, but I would caution you to rethink your stance here.

“Real world studies have continuously showed AZ is very effective over time.”

Some offered support, saying: “You should have gone to your GP and got the Pfizer jab. Ignore the haters Amanda. You’re a very intelligent savvy business woman and I think you’re amazing.”

There has been some hesitancy by people over 50 to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, with the vaccine leading to very rare cases of blood clots

Ms Thompson defended herself by simply saying that she wished that she had a choice to receive the Pfizer jab.

She tweeted: “I was simply wishing we had a choice that’s all, I am thankful that I have had both so jabs.

“I believe we should all have them but we do hear difficult stories daily.

“All my friends have had the Pfizer jab in Scotland, Germany, Sweden, USA and London.”

Responding to Ms Thompson, a spokesperson for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency told LancsLive: “No vaccine would be authorised for supply in the UK unless the expected standards of safety, quality and efficacy are met.

“Like all medicines, the vaccine can cause side effects.

“Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. All side effects are listed in the relevant product information.”

Trials are currently under way to see whether Covid vaccines can be mixed. So far, there is no evidence of how a person might react if they have a dose of the AZ and Pfizer vaccine.

Volunteers at Castle Hill Hospital in Yorkshire are having their blood tested to check their immune response and how a mix of vaccines protect them.

The study is looking at eight different combinations, mixing Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Novavax vaccines.

LancsLive contacted Blackpool Pleasure Beach for further comment but they declined to comment.