Last week’s elections left people scratching their heads, how exactly did Count Binface not win the London Mayoral race? But there was another consternation, the question of how Boris Johnson, who electorally set himself on fire in the fortnight before the election with scandals left and right and a patchy covid record to-boot, do so stonkingly well? And the answer is vaccinations. Which from today are open to people in their 30s.
The success of the government’s vaccination scheme is not to be under estimated. Britain remains one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, and far ahead of our brothers and sisters in the EU, which overall may have been better at managing the virus itself last year, but have seriously lagged in vaccine roll-out.
A series of canny decisions here, around vaccine funding, choosing the right amounts to buy and the right vaccine candidates to pick all combined with an element of luck (we had the capacity to make them here rather than relying on other countries) and the roaringly great machine of the NHS allied with communities and the army, councils and so on to actually get the stuff from vat to arm with the greatest efficiency and least bureaucracy. It’s a national success story!
The result is lives saved. While covid is still killing between 200 and 300 people a day just over the channel in France, in the UK that’s 10 and falling fast. It’s likely we’ll see our first zero deaths day in the next fortnight or so for the first time since March 2020.
Even though an aggressive six-month lockdown has beaten down cases to a very low number, it's only natural that Covid will start to circulate faster...
Which is no reason to brag. One of the advantages of rapid vaccination is that we can hopefully share our stock and capacity with other countries once we’re protected, but it underscores how important getting jabbed is.
And it’s also no moment for complacency. From Monday restaurants will be open inside, we’ll be socialising in our homes again, if you’re not back to work now then your boss will be sending a round-robin email very soon, and even though an aggressive six-month lockdown has beaten down cases to a very low number, it’s only natural that Covid will start to circulate faster.
Which is where we come in.
From 7am this morning anyone aged 38 and 39 became eligible for a vaccine, which can be booked here, or at the link at the end of this article. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has implored those in their 30s to get vaccinated, saying “I urge everybody to get the vaccine as soon as they are eligible to protect yourself and your loved ones.”
We’re all part of a joint effort to keep coronavirus at bay. Not getting injected makes us far more susceptible to getting the virus and to passing it on. And as no vaccine is 100% effective, while your symptoms may be entirely manageable, the immuno-suppressed person, or the elderly lady you pass it to on the tube might not be able to deal with it quite as well.
And hey, even if you’re after an entirely selfish reason to get vaccinated, aside from not catching a killer virus, a glance at the government’s Green List shows us that travel is likely to be highly restricted and reliant on being double inoculated. If you want to get a tan, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves in more ways than one.
So if you’re 38 or 39 then log on and book an injection. And that age will continue to meander down to you if you’re not, so keep an eye and an ear out and get it done so we can all get out of this mess.