Whatever your stance as to the handling of the pandemic from Lockdown, travel restrictions, quarantine and stay at home, our determination to get back to normality as soon as possible is reliant on the brilliant work by all those technicians involved that have developed and created the Covid 19 vaccines.
Whilst many other countries and in particular those in the European Block with the most Covid cases have stalled over the validity of the vaccines the UK Government has gone full steam ahead creating the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the UK.
This 0.5ml dose is instrumental in protecting lives, not just those receiving it but as a method of prevention to those vulnerable to infection and sadly death. The rate at which the UK adult population is being protected is amazing and the benefits are both being felt and seen with drops in death and infection rates. Preliminary studies in Scotland and England have underlined the benefit of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine in terms of protection and spread in the most susceptible age groups that has made both Germany and France reconsider their positions but slow take up by the EU has seen large increases again in infection rates in the major populous countries.
Initial medical opinion was that a 75% take up would be considered a success but the British public have embraced “the Jab” since Margaret Keenan was given the very first vaccination back on December 2020. 3 vaccines have been approved but the difficulty in transport and storage of the initial Pfizer vaccine has seen it overtaken with the more easily administered Oxford Astra Zeneca which now accounts for the majority of vaccines within the UK.
As at the 1st March 2021 over 20 million UK adults had received their first dose and 1.5 million the required second dose with the most vulnerable groups and key workers being attended to first. At over 91% take up this has been an immense operation and the sheer speed of the rollout programme is a credit to all those involved, in particular the vaccine producers who have been working around the clock to supply the millions of required doses, the thousands of volunteers and specialists who have all joined `’the call to arms” in a race to beat the pandemic.
It is not often that your wife “legally” gets to stick a needle into one’s husband but that’s exactly what happened to Makers Managing Directors, Simon Lamb when he turned up for his vaccination. Jane Lamb a former midwife of 40 years at the Queens Hospital Burton came out of retirement to contribute to the vaccination programme. Hours of study and retraining has seen her play a vital role in the administration of vaccines at the Whitemoor Lakes facility opposite the National Arboretum in Alrewas.
“Having been greeted with military precision, the efficiency of the process is amazing from the initial text message of legibility, to booking on line the whole process has been seamless. With completed questionnaire and donned face mask I maintained my social distance waiting for the next available cubicle only to be held back by the attending soldiers before being ushered into a prepared bay… at that point I should have guessed something was amiss as my accompanying escort didn’t retreat…
…I was quickly joined by a nurse who checked my credentials and with permission granted, my wife entered, needle poised at the ready. Beneath the full protective PPE I was unable to see her face but her body language was that of a coiled spring, before I had the time to react the said needle had already found its target and had been withdrawn, the drama over in seconds before I had completed rolling up my sleeve. As the last vaccination of that day, it was greeted with a cheer and laughter as the ironic situation was explained to nearby medics. Obviously being the butt of the joke I was calmly lead away to sit for 15 minutes to ensure my complete safety in stunned silence…
Simon Lamb MD
All vaccinations can have side effects and allergic reactions, so recipients are asked to sit and wait for 15 minutes where they can be observed before leaving the facility. Whitemoor is currently training sections of the British Army to administer vaccinations and at 400 injections per day will become proficient. The vaccination Centre at Whitemoor Lakes will be shortly ramping up from the current 8.5 hour shifts to the 12.5 hours days and will cater for the first and second application recipients at 1000 vaccinations per day.
The Government’s target is to ensure that by July every UK adult who wants a vaccination will have received them. This is an ambitious and huge logistical programme and would just not be possible without the plethora of volunteers and contributors around the country.
“…Call it Covid Bliss, but I was immensely proud that my wife gave me my jab… I am sure she was itching to do it but having volunteered out of retirement she has worked immensely hard administering up to 140 vaccinations a day…. I must admit that I had a few side effects the following day and began to wonder if I’d been given something else but I seem to have made a full recovery…”
“… The whole organisation has been amazing, the facility, the people, efficient polite and all willing in that true British spirit, where we seem to be at our best when we are up against it.
…there are obviously many people involved in the process that I can’t personally thank, but I am relieved that by having the vaccine I prevent a death of someone ‘unwillingly’”
Current data shows that the vaccination rate is outstripping the infection rate by 100 times and as long as that rate continues, we will be on our way to the Governments 4 step plan to easing restrictions.
It is critical to all facets of life that a return to normality is achieved as quickly as possible. March sees the re-opening of schools, much to the delight of home schooling parents and April the return of the retail sector providing that much needed platform of confidence, closely followed we hope, by the much-awaited social gatherings and hospitality industry.
Whist we all look forward to these countdown milestones we must acknowledge all of those involved to make it possible. The technicians, med staff, military, volunteers but also to the millions who have undertaken their civic duty to protect each other.