I just couldn’t get excited about yesterday’s vaccine news. Government ministers, scientists and the BBC – these people who have misled so many times – were all trying to turn this into a big breakthrough moment.
As if like 9/11 or Diana’s death we’d all forever remember what we were doing when the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) made Britain the first country in the world to have a clinically authorised Covid-19 jab.
This last eight months I’ve learned to either not believe a word spoken about the virus or that every step forward seems to lead to two steps back.
My biggest hope is that all the restrictions can be lifted very soon and that we can see and hug our family and friends properly, eat at restaurants, drink at the pub, travel and wave goodbye to face masks and social distancing.
Yet even though lorries with the first vaccines are on their way to Britain this very moment I’m convinced the Government will take as long as possible to restore our freedoms.
I’m also totally confident that we’ll make an absolute mess of the whole vaccination programme. A bit like the building of the Nightingale hospitals I’m sure the army will set up the vaccination sites very effectively but then once the NHS gets involved there’ll be problems.
I’ve already read that GP practises, instead of approaching the programme with a spirit of can-do, have been demanding yet more cash.
Then, of course, there’s going to be all the jockeying for position in the vaccine league table. The current one which after care and health staff simply prioritises by age and health makes perfect sense.
Now, though, there’s talk of local autonomy being allowed and that, for example, teachers would be prioritised. Teachers, why teachers, why not shop workers or delivery drivers but it doesn’t surprise me one bit to see the public sector looking after its own first.
That said I’m also slightly worried that the MHRA have rushed through their approval with undue haste and am not at all bothered by the fact that at 60 with no underlying health problems it’ll be a little while yet before my turn arrives.
It, at least, gives time for this mass vaccination programme to discover there are indeed side-affects – minor ones, I’m sure, that we’ll hear lots about in the media. I will though still take the vaccine when my turn eventually arrives.
Perhaps I’m being a little unfair to the regulator, I was half expecting they’d be all bureaucratic and take an age to approve it so I can’t have it both ways.
The thing that worried me the most about them that Health Secretary Hancock had described them as “world leading” which I now realise doesn’t truly apply to anything we do in the UK these days.
Anyway this is all grumpy old man stuff, I know, and I guess I should just be happy and positive. Who knows there might just be a happy ending to this awful Covid story.