The UK’s biggest roll-out of a vaccine in a generation is well underway, bringing hope to all for protection against COVID-19 as well as the prospect of a brighter, better 2021.
From delivery drivers to doctors, warehouse workers to care staff, there is now a dedicated army of heroes involved in the UK Government’s nationwide roll-out of virus vaccinations.
Inoculations have already begun with elderly patients as well as hospital and care staff among the first to receive first phase jabs across the nation. Experts from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have already approved Pfizer/ BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use. Its introduction follows months of clinical trials and analysis of the data by the MHRA, which confirms the safe, free treatment meets stringent safety standards.
NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHS Wales, NHS Scotland, Health and Social Care Northern Ireland, all of which have decades of experience delivering large-scale vaccination programmes. This is a vaccine that is now available for the entire UK. When it’s your turn, you will receive a notification.
Vaccines are free at the point of delivery and remain the best way to protect us all from the harmful effects of coronavirus.
- The UK Government invested £88 million into research and development
- So far 357 million free vaccine doses have been purchased for UK citizens
- The UK Government invested £230m-plus into manufacturing vaccines
- Vaccines annually prevent 2-3 million deaths globally, potentially millions more
- Vaccines are tested on 20,000 to 30,000 people before being made available to the public
- Hundreds of thousands of people signed up to trials, thousands more continue to be recruited
- Over 600 clinical trials take place every year for other medicines
- Additional £100 million will fund UK Government’s vaccine state-of-the-art mass production
- The UK Government has established ‘rapid deployment facility’ thanks to an extra £38 million manufacturing investment
- An extra £93 million will see UK’s first dedicated Manufacturing and Innovation Centre open a year earlier than planned
‘Fear virus more than injection’
Kit Gow’s advice to anyone fearful of having the vaccine is “the fear of contracting the virus must be greater than having the injection”. The 83 year-old trained at Dunfermline College of Physical Education, and was a student in Aberdeen during the Asian Flu pandemic of 1957.
“My main memory of that was taking medication and food to those lying in bed. “Most of those in the residence were affected,” she recalls. Commenting on the lockdown, she continued: “My really big miss is seeing the family although we speak and email.
“I will have the vaccine as soon as it is offered.”
‘The vaccine spells hope to me’
Retired actress and teacher Sue Herdman will “most certainly” have the vaccine “as soon as they call me”.
Says the 81 year-old: “I am an aged person, classed as vulnerable. I think the knowledge of having the vaccine will instil faith in me. It spells hope. That means a great deal to all of us.”
And her advice to anyone offered the vaccine – “go for it”. Sue, who “hasn’t coped well with the second lockdown”, added: “Life may gradually return to a semblance of normality once more.
“COVID, and the fear it brings, makes prisoners of us all – if not in the confines of our own home, in the fear it breeds.”
‘It’s little short of miraculous’
Retired Advice NI debt adviser Adam Harbinson believes the vaccine “is little short of miraculous”.
Apart from concerns for his family, the 73 year-old misses the freedom of visiting the theatre and cinema as well as dining out.
He welcomed the news of the vaccine saying: “The best that most of us expected was that we would have a vaccine in a couple of years. “ And now the first vaccine is being rolled out across the UK.
“Perhaps the main benefit for me and society, apart from the obvious benefit of protecting us from the dreaded disease, is that it infuses a sense of hope into an otherwise hopeless environment.”